Wireless Communication Device Policy
The University of Texas at El Paso recognizes that the performance of certain job requirements (duties and responsibilities) may be enhanced and supported by the use of cellular phones. Employees who are required to maintain cellular phone contact with UTEP while away from the office or to be accessible outside of regular business hours may be eligible for a monthly allowance to offset the cost of the business portion of their cellular phone plans.
This policy establishes rates for reimbursement of a cellular phone plan; however, the University of Texas at El Paso does not provide reimbursement for cellular phone equipment.
The following may qualify for an allowance:
- Employee must be full time benefits eligible and exempt from overtime.
- Employees who are frequently “on call” officially or implicitly and/or need to be contacted in an immediate or timely manner (during or outside of regular business hours) to respond to situations pertinent to their job requirements and/or respond in the event of an emergency.
- Employees who typically work in the field or at job sites where access to landline telephones and/or data network is not readily available.
- Employees who frequently travel or are out of the office and need to be in contact with UTEP personnel or affiliates in order to conduct UTEP business.
- Employees who must be in contact and accessible because of their role as critical decision makers.
Wireless Communication Plan Allowances:
Wireless communication plan 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 and do not qualify as compensation for TRS or ORP contribution purposes.
Monthly Communication Plan Allowance: Eligible employees may choose any provider and service 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 allowed for each eligible employee will depend on business need, as determined by the appropriate Vice President and are available in increments of $25 not to exceed $150 per month. Monthly allowances are charged back to the employing department and department heads are responsible for ensuring that sufficient funds are available.
Employees receiving wireless communication allowances must be accessible and available via phone call, text messaging, or email during non-business hours for official university related matters. Employees are expected to provide timely responses to campus or university issues. As part of this agreement, employee is required to sign up for emergency text messaging via “Miner Alert.” Visit https://mineralert.utep.edu/.
Duration of Communication Allowance:
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 is no longer approved. Allowances approved mid-month will commence on the next month’s pay check.