Responsible Office – Department:
Effective Date of Policy:
Approved by Cabinet April 28, 2015; Revised May 18, 2021
Purpose of Policy
The objective of this policy is to ensure that the employees with executive level duties and those who by virtue of their function have a constant need to be in contact with Daemen University are provided a credit for use of their personal cell phones.
1. In accordance with provisions covered by this policy, specifically designated eligible staff of the university with work-related cell phone requirements shall purchase their own cell phones; enter into their own outside mobile phone data and service agreements; and receive a fixed reimbursement through payroll to offset a portion of their personal mobile phone data plan and costs, including those attributable to upgrading their personal cell phones no more than once every three (3) years. The cell phone service shall be personally owned by the employee and may therefore be used for both personal and business calls. A staff professional with a cell phone allowance must maintain an active cell phone contract for the life of the allowance.
2. Eligible employees will receive cell phone reimbursement through their biweekly payroll and in accordance with IRS tax rules. Such reimbursement shall be considered as nontaxable income to eligible staff. This allowance does not increase the staff professional’s base salary and will not be included in the calculation of any university benefits, including annual cost-of-living or other annual salary increases, bonuses, or other compensation.
3. Except in rare, case-by-case situations, Daemen University shall not own or issue Daemen-purchased cell phones to university designated staff, nor be the signatory on or administrator of, any mobile phone data plan contract. Any exceptions to this policy must be authorized by the president of the university for his office staff, or by the appropriate member of the president’s cabinet for all other offices or departments, and coordinated with the Office of Business Affairs. One such exception that may be considered for university-owned and issued cell phones and data plan services paid for by the university is an “office” within the university where a cell phone is assigned to that office, rather than to one or more specific staff within such office.
4. The reimbursement allowance to be paid to such designated eligible staff shall be be reimbursed to qualified, eligible employees in each paycheck at a biweekly rate of $18.47 per pay period over 26 pays.
5. Designated staff who have been declared eligible for such reimbursement, shall also be granted up to $100 every three (3) years to offset, in part, the cost of purchasing a new or upgraded cell phone device through their individual cell phone data plan carrier or other private cell phone retailer. Reimbursement should be sought after the employee has the receipt confirming such upgrade.
6. Mobile phone equipment, accessory and application costs are the responsibility of the eligible staff, and the staff member is responsible for any loss, theft, or damage to their privately owned cell phones. The cell phones must be able to run current operating systems and software compatible for use with other Daemen University employees.
Eligibility Requirements for Designated Administrative Employees
The members of the president’s cabinet, including the president, shall have responsibility for designating the “eligible” key staff under their respective jurisdictions to be authorized for reimbursement to partially offset their private cell phone costs in accordance with the policy.
Daemen University defines “eligible” staff for the cell phone reimbursement program described above, as the following:
- 24/7 Access Employees: Key staff whose day-to-day job responsibilities require routine response to urgent (immediate action required) university business at any time of the day or night. This category of eligible staff includes those employees who support, or are responsible for programs, services, or systems that necessitate frequent and immediate communications throughout the day or after hours. Examples of such eligibility include but are not limited to:
- those key staff involved in student affairs, residence life, and campus safety issues
- key staff involved in public and media communication occurring during regular business hours, evening hours, and weekend hours
- key staff involved in critical maintenance, information technology or related infrastructure matters on the two main street campuses of the university (4380 Main Street) and the Daemen University Wellness and Academic Center (4413 Main Street), or offsite housing sites
- Members of the President’s Cabinet
- Mobile Employees: Key staff whose jobs require routine work on campus but outside of traditional fixed office sites and locations, with a need to communicate in real time with an office or to give and receive direction outside of a traditional office setting. Examples of such key staff include the director of facilities; the director of campus safety; the chief information officer; key staff within the athletics department; and key staff within the Office of Enrollment Management
- Employees Whose Duties Require Extensive and Frequent Travel: Key staff with a requirement to travel frequently to conduct the business of the university, across a geographic area away from the home office on campus, and where great amounts of time are spent in transit between sites. Employees meeting this definition of eligibility include but are not limited to key staff within the Office of Enrollment Management, including the Office of Admissions; and key staff within the Office of Institutional Advancement
- Other Eligible Employees: On a case-by-case basis, employees seeking eligibility for cell phone usage reimbursement must be recommended for such eligibility by the appropriate member of the president’s cabinet to the business affairs office. The appropriate member of the president’s cabinet shall consider such requests within the context of at least one of the following criteria:
- role of requesting employee requires such employee to routinely respond to urgent (immediate action required) university business while that employee is away from the office and a member of the president’s cabinet attests to the business necessity for such eligibility
- role of requesting employee requires such employee to be routinely available while in remote locations, and the member of the president’s cabinet attests to the business necessity for such eligibility
- other special circumstance whereby the member of the president’s cabinet attests to the business necessity in determining the eligibility of an employee to receive reimbursement for cell phone usage in accordance with this policy
Compliance with the Policy
This policy shall apply to all part-time and full-time staff at Daemen University. Under this Policy, faculty members with no administrative responsibilities are not eligible for reimbursement for their personal cell phone usage, nor are they to be provided with Daemen University-owned or issued cell phones, nor will the university be a signatory to a contract for mobile phone data plan providers for faculty.
Administration and Oversight of the Policy
The Office of Business Affairs shall have primary responsibility for the administration and oversight of this policy. The vice president for business affairs and treasurer shall periodically report to the cabinet regarding any and all issues with regard to this policy and its implementation.
The employee engagement department, in collaboration with the business affairs office, shall have the responsibility for processing cell phone reimbursements into the payroll system of Daemen University.
The cabinet shall from time to time review this policy for any adjustments to the reimbursement proposals contained herein, or the other provisions of the policy.