Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Cell Phone and other Personal Electronic Device Policy


Some employees of Franklin and Marshall have been provided with mobile communication devices to assist with their jobs. These include cell phones, smart phones and tablet computers primarily.  Approximately 65 employees are using wireless devices for which they are reimbursed for their business use by F&M.  F&M wants to encourage productivity and accessibility of its officers but wants to ensure it is done in an efficient manner. 

The current reimbursement process is very manually intensive and is expensive to maintain.  Each month, each of the 65 employees are required to submit reimbursement forms with original receipts to their supervisor who approves and signs and forwards to F&M accounting.  F&M accounting reviews and enters the transaction in the accounting system to generate a reimbursement check which is sent to the employee.  This process generates up to 780 transactions per year.   


Full-time college employees requiring use of a cell phone or other mobile communication device for their jobs are eligible to receive supplemental compensation if the employee’s job requires him or her to be readily accessible as part of their job and/or their job requires frequent travel.   Employees that may be eligible are those to which the following may apply:

  • Safety requirements indicate having cellular phone is an integral part of performing duties of the employee’s job description.
  • More than 50% of the employee’s work is conducted in the field.
  • The employee is required to be contacted on a regular basis.
  • The employee is required to be on-call (24/7)

If the employee’s supervisor deems that it is necessary for the employee to maintain a mobile communication device in order to effectively carry out their job responsibilities, the employee’s supervisor will request supplemental payment from their divisional Vice President for approval.  If approved, the divisional Vice President will forward to the Vice President for Finance and Administration with rationale for the payment.  The Vice President for Finance will review and if approved, will forward the approved request to Human Resources for payment processing.  Employees will not be allowed to submit monthly mobile charges for reimbursement from the College.

Employees may receive up to the following monthly reimbursement toward their costs:

Tier I -  up to $35 per month if a light user requiring voice only services.
Tier II – up to $50 per month if a moderate user requiring minimal levels of voice/data/text services.
Tier III – up to $100 per month if a heavy user with high levels of voice/data/text services.

The payment amounts are expected to offset but not completely cover user costs recognizing that some use will be of a personal nature.  

Approved employee supplemental payments will be paid to the employee from the respective departmental account on a bi-weekly or monthly basis (depending on the employee’s pay schedule) and employees who receive supplemental payments are not allowed to submit additional reimbursement requests for mobile services.   Employees are responsible for their own mobile contracts with service providers and are not the responsibility of the College.   

An inventory of approved supplemental payments for employees will be maintained by Human Resources and a review of all agreements will occur on an annual basis.  Changes to an employee’s duties that result in changes to the amount of supplemental payment will require supervisor, divisional VP, VPFA and HR review and approval.  If the employee terminates employment with the college, the payment will end the month of termination.

Employees who do not qualify for the supplemental compensation may submit expense reimbursements for infrequent, incremental business expenses, by providing the copy of their bill, clearly listing the incremental costs. Incremental business expenses are those calls that result in additional costs to the employee that are above and beyond the employee's normal calling plan (e.g., excess minutes, roaming charges). An invoice must be submitted to verify the incremental costs incurred.  Reimbursement requests must be approved by the employee’s supervisor and Divisional Vice President before forwarding to the Business Office for processing.  Reimbursements will be funded by the respective departmental account.

Certain departments may have special needs that justify departmental ownership of cell phones. Athletic personnel, maintenance personnel, college houses, and security officers are examples where phones are assigned to a department and used by multiple employees.  The services for these phones are paid directly by the department/College when the department determines there is a bona fide business purpose for the cell phone.  Employees cannot use departmental cell phones for personal calls.

Last update: July 1, 2012