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Business Policy and Procedure

55.075:  Cell Phone Allowances


Approved on January 10, 2010Signatures and dates
on archival copy


when approved 

Initiated by:

Gina Fetty

Endorsed by:

The Ohio University
Executive Staff

Pam Benoit
Executive Vice President and Provost

Approved by:

Roderick J. McDavis

Date of Approval
Following Last Full Review:

January 10, 2010 

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This policy establishes the extent to which the university may subsidize, through a cell phone allowance, personally owned cell phones used in the conduct of University business.


The university provides access to university-owned communication devices based upon an employee's job responsibilities. Those communication devices may include desktop computers with e-mail capabilities, desk phones for transacting university business, and pagers to maintain contact with employees throughout their work period.

Some positions may require that the employee be readily available via cell phone throughout his or her work period or during non-work hours. University-owned cell phones are provided only by exception, as delineated in the last paragraph of this section. If an employee's position falls into any one or more of the following three categories, the university may subsidize the employee's personal cell phone service with a cell phone allowance, in an amount to be determined by the Planning Unit, but not to exceed $25 per month:

  1. Employees with job responsibilities that require them to make or receive calls outside of their normal working hours;

  2. Field service or maintenance employees who do not regularly work in an assigned office and who need to make or receive calls throughout the work day;

  3. Employees who have an assigned office but who spend a significant amount of time away from that office and who need to make or receive calls during these periods.

Cell phone allowances will be paid through Payroll, with all applicable taxes being withheld.

Where a health, safety, or regulatory justification can be established, exceptions may be granted to the general prohibition of university-owned cell phones. Generally, this will occur in the case of a cell phone that passes from person to person at shift change and does not leave the university premises or in the case of a faculty member leading a group of students abroad for study. All exceptions to policy must be processed in accordance with Policy and Procedure 01.003, "Exceptions to or Restrictions of University Policies."

Policies and Procedures

To obtain a cell phone allowance, the employee:

  1. Completes an Allowance Request Form.

  2. Obtains the required Supervisor and Planning Unit approvals.

  3. Submits the form to Payroll for processing.


Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. President

  2. Executive Vice President and Provost

  3. Executive Staff

  4. Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration

  5. Chief Human Resource Officer

  6. Chief Information Officer

  7. Payroll Manager

  8. Tax Compliance Manager

  9. Policy and Procedure Review Committee


The following form is specific to this policy:

  1. The Allowance Request form is available online as a Microsoft Excel file, from https://www.ohio.edu/finance/customercare/payroll.cfm, and then scroll down.

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Dick Piccard revised this file (https://www.ohio.edu/policy/55-075.html) on March 23, 2016.
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