Wireless Communication Device Policy
To provide guidance regarding eligibility for a wireless communication plan and equipment allowances.
It is the policy of The University of Texas at El Paso to provide a wireless communication device allowance to those employees who have a documented official state business need for a communication device, meet eligibility requirements, and have approval by their appropriate Vice President. Academic departments will also require approval by the appropriate Dean.
Communications Device - cellular telephones, personal digital assistants (PDA) with email capability, telephone/personal digital assistant combinations.
Director Level - includes Vice Presidents, Assistant Vice Presidents, Associate Vice Presidents, and Directors.
Official State Business Needs - the employee frequently engages in work-related travel, the employee is frequently out of the office on UT El Paso business, or the employee is a member of key personnel needed in the event of an emergency.
- Employees who are Director level and above.
- On an exception basis, employees below the Director level who have the recommendation of the department head and approval by the appropriate Vice President. Academic departments will also require approval by the appropriate Dean.
- As part of this agreement, employee is required to sign up for emergency text messaging via "miner alert". Visit https://mineralert.utep.edu.
Wireless Communication Device Allowances:
Wireless communication device allowances are taxable compensation subject to required tax withholdings. Such allowances are not an entitlement and are not part of the employee's base salary. Allowances do not qualify as compensation for TRS or ORP contribution purposes.
Equipment and Activation Allowance: An allowance not to exceed actual cost plus 30% for taxes may be provided for the acquisition of communication equipment and initial activation fees. However, the total allowable reimbursement amount may not exceed $600. Documentation of actual costs (receipts) is required. An employee must purchase the equipment outright, payment plans as part of a subscription will not be considered for reimbursement. Equipment obtained by the employee utilizing the equipment allowance is the property of the employee. Because the employee is now personally responsible for the equipment, any replacement for loss or damage will be at the expense of the employee. An employee may receive an equipment allowance only once every two years. Departments must process such allowances in accordance with the provisions established by Payroll Services.
In the event an employee's responsibilities require a PDA or email capable device, the department may purchase such a device from available departmental equipment funds in lieu of an equipment allowance. The device will remain the property of The University of Texas at El Paso.
Monthly Communication Plan Allowance: Numerous service plans are available in the telecommunications market. Eligible employees may choose any provider and plan.
Provider contracts resulting from such choices are between the employee and the provider and in no way obligate The University of Texas at El Paso. The University of Texas at El Paso does not endorse any particular service provider or plan.
The monthly allowance will be $75, $100, or $150 and will be determined based on historical usage following review and recommendation from the department head and/or Dean, and approval by the appropriate Vice President.
* Departments must provide a wage or all expense account to charge payment of both equipment and monthly allowance.
Duration of Communication Allowance:
To receive a wireless communication device allowance, the employee's department head must submit an approved Wireless Communication Device Allowance Request Form to the Payroll Office. The monthly communication plan allowance is to be reviewed and approved annually during the budget cycle and shall remain effective throughout the year or until this policy is revised and the employee is not eligible for the allowance according to the revised policy. The communication allowance will be cancelled for the following:
- The employee's job duties change and the department head does not consider that the new duties support a business need for a wireless communication allowance.
- The employee terminates employment with The University of Texas at El Paso.
- Employees that do not register to receive text messaging via Miner Alert may have their allowance cancelled.
Department heads are responsible for notifying the Payroll Office if an employee's job responsibilities change and the provision of a monthly communication plan allowance are no longer approved.