1.0 Revision History
Original Effective Date: March 1, 2008
Revision Effective Date: March 23, 2015
Revision Number: 3
Establish a policy for cell phone use and compensation allowance.
Cell Phone: commercial wireless phone service (mobile, cellular, or digital)
policy applies to staff and faculty who are authorized to use a cell phone
and/or associated wireless services for university business and who receive
compensation from the university to offset the cost of the cell phone for
business-related calls or who receive a university-provided cell phone.
whose job requires them to use a cell phone for University business, as
outlined in this policy, may use a personal cell phone service for business use
and will be eligible to receive a monthly allowance for that service and an allowance
for the purchase of the cell phone. Employees who receive an allowance which
includes text capabilities will be required to register for alert text messages
via the NAU Alert system. Employees may elect to use a university-provided cell
phone in lieu of receiving compensation for using a personal cell phone.
5.1 Cell Phone Allowance
A. Eligibility for Cell Phone Allowance
cell phone allowance must be approved by the employee’s supervisor,
dean/director, and Vice President.
university may provide a cell phone allowance to an employee if at least one of
the following criteria is met:
job requires considerable time outside the office (travel, meetings,
conferences, etc.) and use of the cell phone facilitates the effective conduct of
business operations while away.
job requires the employee to be immediately accessible to receive and/or make
frequent business calls outside of working hours.
duties away from the office may expose the employee or others to immediate harm
or danger (e.g., visits to homes of patients or clients).
allowance will be charged to an account specified by the employee’s supervisor,
who must ensure availability of funding. Departmental eligibility criteria can
be more (but not less) restrictive than the university criteria stated above. No
cell phone allowance for cell phone equipment will be paid with grant
restricted funding. Departmental purchase of a university cell phone plan for
service is an option for grant funded employees (see section 5.2 of this
B. Cell Phone Allowance Amount
monthly cell phone allowances are shown in Table A of Appendix A of this
policy. The cell phone allowance is considered taxable income to the employee
by the Internal Revenue Service. The allowance is intended to reimburse the
employee for the average business use of the cell phone, not to pay the entire
phone bill. The amount of the allowance should be commensurate with the
requirement for business use and should be reviewed periodically by management
for change in amount or cancellation.
university will assist with paying the purchase cost of a cell phone device once
every three years according to Table B in Appendix A of this policy.
This allowance is also taxable income to the employee. Employees must show a
bill or purchase receipt for their cell phone in order to receive this
allowance. The employee can choose a cell phone with more features and pay the
difference if he/she chooses. The cell phone will belong to the employee, not
to the university. The university will not pay for activation fees or
an employee will not be reimbursed for the purchase of a new cell phone during
their first six months of employment. An exception to this rule can be made by
a Vice President.
employees are subject to paying back their cell phone purchase reimbursement if
they leave within the first year of employment. The recovered amount will be
prorated based on the actual amount of time employed.
for the allowance or the level of the allowance provided is subject to change
or cancellation as determined by the employee’s supervisor.
monthly and phone purchase allowances are not considered part of base pay used
for calculating percentage salary increases. The monthly phone allowances are
considered wages for the purposes of retirement plan contributions.
may periodically request that the employee provide a copy of the first page of
the phone bill in order to verify that he/she has an active cell phone plan.
Supervisors may also periodically request documentation of business use to
determine the appropriateness of eligibility and level of the allowance amount.
C. Employee Responsibilities
the Cell Phone Allowance Request form thereby certifying that he/she will provide
the phone number within five days of activation and will be available for calls
(in possession of the phone and have it turned on) during those times specified
any cell phone carrier whose service meets the requirements of the job
responsibilities as determined by his/her supervisor.
the university to discontinue the allowance when the eligibility criteria are
no longer met or when the cell service is cancelled. If such notification is
not submitted within 30 days of no longer meeting criteria or service
cancellation, the employee must repay any allowance received.
all charges on his/her personal cell phone plan. If the employee leaves the
position, he/she continues to be responsible for the contractual obligations of
his/her cell phone plan. Early termination fees will be paid by departments if
the employee leaves the university after one year of service and the plan is
over and above what his/her normal personal plan requires. Documentation from
the cell phone provider of early contract cancellation and applicable fees must
be provided for this reimbursement.
with applicable laws regarding the use of cell phones while driving and avoid cell
phone use that may jeopardize the safety
of the employee or others
that cell phone transmissions are not secure and that employees should use
discretion in relaying confidential information over cell phones.
D. Implementation Rules and Procedures
rules and procedures, along with frequently asked questions, are shown on the
following website: http://www.nau.edu/its/MobileDevice/.
5.2 University-provided Cell Phones
A. Eligibility and Record Keeping
the approval of a Vice President, the university may purchase cell phones and
pay for service in certain limited circumstances—e.g., phones that rotate among
bus drivers, on-call staff, or maintenance personnel. No personal calls are
allowed on university-provided cell phones. University provided cell phones
should generally not be assigned to a specific individual. These
university-provided cell phones and service will be purchased by using a
University Purchasing Card. All equipment purchased remains the property of the
university. Calling plans must be on a state contract and current plans are
listed at http://www.nau.edu/its/MobileDevice/.
No long term contracts over one year may be purchased through a purchasing
Cell Phone Request forms must be approved by the employee’s supervisor, dean/director,
and Vice President.
submitting department must keep the approved University-provided Cell Phone
Request form on file and available for review and/or audit. All cell phone
invoices must be kept with the monthly purchasing card documentation.
or their designee must review the monthly bills of university-provided cell
phones to ensure that no personal calls were made. Inadvertent or emergency
personal calls must be reimbursed to the university at the rate of $.30 per
minute plus long distance and roaming charges.
B. Employee Responsibility
shall comply with applicable laws regarding the use of cell phones while
driving and avoid cell phone use that may jeopardize the safety
of the employee or others. Such use may
include texting, emailing, or verbal communication.
working on federally funded projects are prohibited from text messaging while
driving a government owned vehicle, or while driving their own privately owned
vehicle during official business, or from using government-supplied electronic
equipment to text message or email when driving.
is generally recognized that cell phone transmissions are not secure. Employees
must use discretion in relaying confidential or sensitive information over cell
5.3 Cell Phone Support – By Type
who are authorized to obtain a regular cell phone must obtain technical support
from the vendor providing the phone.
who are authorized to use a Smart phone and wish to
utilize ITS technical support for email or calendar integration, must choose a
provider and phone shown on the following ITS website. Support for the
cell phone portion of these types of devices must obtain technical support from
the vendor providing the phone.
the nature of electronic communications and the public character of the
University may make certain cell phone uses less private than users may
anticipate. As such, employees should be aware that federal and state laws and
University policies, guidelines, and regulations may limit the protection of
certain aspects of individual privacy in connection with the use of a cell
phone under this policy. For example, in certain circumstances, the University
may permit the inspection, monitoring or disclosure of phone records and text
messages, consistent with applicable laws, by University personnel or law
enforcement officers. The University and
its employees may be required to disclose phone records, text messages, and
other electronic data and documents pursuant to the Arizona public records laws
or court order.
to this policy will be authorized by approval of the President upon
recommendation of the President’s Cabinet. Questions or comments about this
policy should be directed to NAU's Chief Information Technology Officer,
Appendix A: Cell Phone Allowances as of March 23, 2015
Table A: Cell Phone Allowance (includes vendor 15% discount)
|Voice & Text|
|Up to $20|
|Voice, text & email / data||$50|
Table B: Cell Phone Purchase Allowance
|Phone Purchase Allowance||One-time amount every three years
upon purchase of new phone)|
mobile phone (includes protective|
of cost up to $150|