Cell Phone Policy Q and A

Employee Questions:

Q:   Can I still get my phone through CMU Telecommunications?

A: Yes, the contract will be in your name as a personal phone.

Q: Can I keep my same phone number?

A: Yes, most companies allow you to keep your same phone number.

Q: Can I just use my current personal phone as my business phone?

A: Yes, but to receive an allowance you must demonstrate the business need and your supervisor and senior officer must approve it.

Q: Can my department insist what type of phone I have to get?

A: To a certain point; if they feel you need a phone with specific features, i.e. touch talk/two way walkie talkie feature then they can require you to get a phone with those features but you will be compensated for the difference in the equipment price on a one time basis.

Q: I have a phone that CMU purchased; do I need to turn this in?

A: No, it now becomes the property and responsibility of the employee. This is because it has been determined that cell phones only have a two year useful life.

Q: How do I switch a phone/bill that was in CMU's name to my name?

A: If you wish to stay with CMU telecommunications, you will need to complete the telecommunications form located here and submit it to the payroll office along with the completed  Cell Phone Allowance Agreement form. If you wish to seek an outside provider you will only need to go to that provider and sign your contract with them. You will then need to provide your phone number (if changed) to your supervisor.

Q: When I change the bill to my name, will I be obligated for a new two year contract?

A: As long as you stay with the same provider, your contract dates will not change.

Q: If I go over my minutes on my plan and it is all business calls, will my department reimburse me for this?

A: Only if you document every call. This may indicate you need to discuss with your supervisor the need for a larger plan thus indicating the need for a larger allowance.

Q: If I am out of town on CMU business and I need to use my cell phone for business purposes but I don't have an allowance agreement in place, can I still get reimbursed for the business calls.

A: Yes, you can put it on an employee reimbursement form following the normal business reimbursement policy. You will need documentation and proof that additional out of pocket expense has occurred, such as going over minutes on your cell phone plan or out of area charges (roaming).

Q: How long do I need to keep copies of my bills once they are paid?

A: There are no specific requirements but you need to be aware that those records could fall under the Freedom of Information Act or if your records are subpoenaed you will be responsible to furnish those records.

Q: If my phone no longer works but my contract is not up, will I be compensated for a new phone?

A: No

Q: If my phone is damaged at work, will I be reimbursed for replacement of a new phone?

A: Not generally, each employee is responsible for any repairs/maintenance for the expected life of the phone. If there are extenuating circumstances, you can negotiate them with your supervisor, they must be approved by your senior officer.

Q: How soon do we need to get allowance agreements to payroll to be entered for a particular pay.

A: Follow the timesheet scheduled for the effective date on the Payroll site.

Q: Can I switch to a pager instead of having a phone?

A: Yes, but to get reimbursed for phone calls made to answer the page, You will need documentation and proof that additional out of pocket expense has occurred,

NOTE: Please notify Telecom 3 weeks prior to when you will need the pager.


Supervisor questions

Q: I have an employee in my department that needs to make business call on a much smaller scale (i.e. during a peak or seasonal period); can I give them a smaller allowance to compensate for the use of their personal phone?

A: Yes you are able to give a smaller allowance for a specific time frame or even a one-time allowance. You will just need to indicate this on the  Cell Phone Allowance Agreement

Q: How do I indicate on the  Cell Phone Allowance Agreement  that I authorize a one-time or smaller allowance with an end date?

A: On the form you indicate the amount of the allowance with a start date, then there is a space for a cancellation or end date, this date would be the same for a one-time payment.

Q: As a supervisor, can I change my employee's allowance in the same year?

A: Yes, you will need to stop the first allowance and complete a new  Cell Phone Allowance Agreement with the new amount indicated with a new start date.

Q:  If an employee terminates employment, will we prorate the allowance on their final check?

A: No the final check will contain the normal allowance per any existing allowance agreement.

Q:        I have an employee with an existing contract that my department pays for and has not reached its expiration date.  My employee(s) has decided to go outside of CMU with a new provider - will my department be liable for the early termination fee?

A: Yes, your department will be liable for the early termination fee.  However, you can contact Telecommunications to see if the current service provider will waive the fee.

Q: Can we change a name on a phone in a situation where someone is in an interim position and leaves that position.

A: Yes, a name can be changed at no additional cost. They can also change the phone number if it is necessary.‚Äč