Policy: Telephone and Cell Phone

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1 Policy: Telephone and Cell Phone Effective Date: 8/20/2015 Section: 2-5 Policy Local and Long Distance Personal Use of League Phones/Faxes The League provides desk phones and cell phones to employees who need them to perform their jobs. Cell phones, in particular, are provided to encourage and support a timely response to our members inquiries and to internal customer needs. This policy explains our expectations about how you, as an employee, will use League phones. It also defines the two cell phone options available to employees who meet the criteria to be provided with a League cell phone. As with all League policies, the Executive Director reserves the right to modify this policy or vary from it to meet changing needs and conditions of the League. You may make necessary local personal telephone calls from your League office phone, but you should keep the number and length of such calls to a minimum. There may be circumstances when you need to make personal long distance phone calls during business hours or when traveling on League business. If you need to do so, you should use a personal credit card, a prepaid phone card, or a personal cell phone. The only time you may make a personal long distance telephone call and initially charge the cost of that call to the League is during an emergency when no other option is available. In this situation, you must notify Finance as soon as possible after the call is made and make arrangements to pay for the cost of the call. Accepting a personal long distance phone call from someone using a League toll free number is prohibited. Limited personal use of a League-owned cell phone is allowed as described below. Cell Phones If you must remain accessible due to the nature of your duties and/or you must be available for emergency response or consultation, you may be eligible to participate in one of the League s two cell phone programs. One program provides you with a League-owned and maintained cell phone. The other program provides you with a cell phone allowance to use your personal cell phone for League business. You may indicate a preference for either program as part of the cell phone approval process. The preference will be honored, assuming you meet the conditions of this policy. Eligibility In general, the following criteria will be used to determine whether you are eligible to receive a League-owned cell phone or an allowance for using your personal cell phone: League of Minnesota Cities Employee Handbook Telephone and Cell Phone Page 1

2 Your position requires you to respond to League business requests (including member inquiries and questions) on a very routine (daily) basis and also requires travel and meetings away from the office either within the Twin Cities metro area or in Greater Minnesota; or Your position requires you to respond to internal or external customer needs on an occasional but urgent basis while away from the office or after business hours and on weekends. The department director or Executive Director has the discretion to discontinue providing a cell phone at any time, but will attempt to provide you with advance notice. Approval Process Supervisors will submit a Cell Phone Justification form on your behalf if you request a League cell phone or a cell phone allowance. The department director will approve or disapprove the cell phone request based on the guidelines of this policy. If approved, the department director will forward the form to Finance and Technology Services. League-Provided Cell Phones Guidelines If you receive a League-owned cell phone, you must adhere to the following: You must provide the cell phone number to your supervisor and any other League employees or members who need to contact you for League business purposes. Technology Services will provide a listing of League-owned cell phone numbers to the Front Desk and to Human Resources/Administration. You must record a voic greeting on the cell phone that is appropriate for a professional environment. You must be available by cell phone for League business during work hours. (If you have after-hours emergency responsibilities, you may also be required to be available during non-work hours.) You are responsible for notifying Technology Services when your cell phone is not working properly. You are required to take appropriate precautions to safeguard the Leagueowned cell phone issued to you from damage, loss, unauthorized use, and theft. The League will pay for replacement or repair of the phone; however, you may be subject to disciplinary action for misuse of a League-owned cell phone, depending on the circumstances and frequency. The League will determine the appropriate cell plan for League-owned cell phones. The plan will be matched to the expected number of business minutes on a monthly basis. If you have an increase in minutes, you must first have a documented business need to gain approved additional plan minutes. Page 2

3 Your supervisor, department director, or the Executive Director may require you to document/identify all calls made during a billing period if you have exceeded your allotted minutes on a League-owned cell phone. If personal use is excessive, the League may require reimbursement of charges. Examples of personal use include, but are not limited to; international texting, international data, excessive data, call minute overages, etc. If the League becomes aware of excessive personal use, your LMC-provided cell phone may be taken away, and you will be required to reimburse the League for the cost of the excessive usage. You are expected to exercise good judgment and professionalism with regard to your use of a League-provided cell phone. You must reimburse the League for personal long distance use during peak hours and all personal roaming charges by identifying these charges on the cell phone bill and making payment to the Finance Department. Under current IRS rules and regulations, where employers provide cell phones to their employees or where employers reimburse employees for business use of their personal cell phones, tax-free treatment is available without burdensome recordkeeping requirements. The guidance does not apply to the provision of cell phones or reimbursement for cell phone use that is not primarily business related, as such arrangements are generally taxable. Personal PDA/Smartphones The League may provide employees in certain positions with a personal PDA/smartphone. These will be determined based on the need for occasional but urgent response to internal or external customer needs via while away from the office (including after-hours and weekend response). In addition, the employee and his or her supervisor must document that another option, such as a cellular, internet-enabled laptop computer, is not feasible. Reimbursement Plan Eligibility If you are eligible to receive a League-owned cell phone, you may request a cell phone allowance for your personal cell phone cost instead, but you must remain with that option for at least one year. A department director or the Executive Director has the discretion to discontinue cell phone allowances with 30 days advance notice to you. Less than 30 days notice may be given if you have discontinued your cell phone service or leave employment without 30 days notice. Guidelines If you receive cell phone allowances, you are expected to adhere to the following: Page 3

4 You must provide the cell phone number to your supervisor, Technology Services, and any other League employees or members who need to contact you for League business purposes. Any changes to the phone number must be reported immediately. Technology Services will enter these numbers into our Outlook Address Book. You are expected to record a voic greeting on your cell phone that is appropriate for a professional environment. You must be available by cell phone for League business during work hours. You are responsible for ensuring that your cell phone is in good working order. If you receive a cell phone allowance, you may not use a Leagueowned cell phone except for emergencies or pressing business matters. If you receive a cell phone allowance, and you allow your personal phone service to lapse, you will be responsible for reimbursing the League for the months the service was not active. It will be your responsibility to provide the necessary records to demonstrate when the service was last active. Personal PDA/Smartphones If you use your own PDA/smartphone for League business, the League will not be responsible for supporting connectivity to League computer resources, or supporting the use of the device unless there is a documented need to use the PDA/smartphone for League business. If you have documented the need to use the PDA/smartphone for League business, you must consult with Technology Services in advance about what type of PDA/smartphones can be purchased, or you may have to use a League-provided PDA/smartphone instead. If you choose to synchronize or other League electronic data on your smartphone or other device, you are obligated to ensure the device can be remotely wiped of all League data should the phone be lost. Payment If you are approved to receive a cell phone allowance, you will be paid $20 per month. If you are approved to carry a personal PDA/smartphone to receive/review League , you will receive a cell phone allowance of $35 per month. Cell phone allowances are paid through payroll and treated as non-taxable income. Expectations League-issued cell phones are for dedicated business use. They should not be used for non-work related communications, except in special circumstances as described herein, especially during normal work hours. (See above section on League-Provided Cell Phones ). Page 4

5 Once each year, the Technology Services Department will confirm with each department director that their current cell phone holder list is accurate. If requested by a department director, the League s Finance Department may audit usage to determine compliance with this policy. Cell phones should not be used, even for a business purpose, when a less costly communication alternative (e.g., office desk phone) is safe, convenient, and readily available. You should use appropriate communications etiquette with cell phones, including setting cell phones to be silent when you are in a situation where audible use would disrupt business. Typically the League will not reimburse you for incidental use of your personal cell phone for work. However, you can request reimbursement under extraordinary circumstances for expenses incurred on a personal cell phone bill. We at the League discourage use of cell phones (League-issued or personal) while operating a motor vehicle. Instead, we encourage employees to place and answer calls prior to engaging a motor vehicle, or during a break from operation of the motor vehicle. In some jurisdictions, laws may prohibit the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. It is the League s expectation that you will abide by these laws. Page 5

6 APPENDIX A TYPES OF ENABLED CELL PHONES CURRECTLY SUPPORTED BY TECHNOLOGY SERVICES (1) Blackberry (2) Windows-Mobile Devices (3) iphones Notes: 1. If you are receiving a higher cell phone allowance to have access, you are required to purchase a phone that can be supported by Technology Services. Therefore, before making a personal purchase of an enabled cell phone, you should check the particular model with Technology Services to make sure it can be supported and connected with the League s network. 2. You are strongly encouraged to check the coverage of the service plan you choose with your cell phone especially for travel in Greater Minnesota. Some plans have been reported to have significant coverage issues when traveling between cities. The League s service plan is Verizon and was chosen based on having some of the best coverage in Greater Minnesota. Page 6

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