Wireless Service (Cell Phone) Stipends
St. Mary’s University provides a monthly wireless service stipend to employees whose duties and responsibilities require substantial business use of a cellular telephone. The following guidelines may be applied in determining whether or not a substantial business need applies:
- Job requirement as a first responder on-call before or after assigned work hours.
- Substantial job duties (more than 50 percent) conducted in the field.
- Safety requirements making cellular phone service integral part in performance of job duties.
- Critical decision maker.
In order to obtain a monthly stipend, employees must complete an Authorization Form fully detailing the substantial business use of the service. The request must be reviewed and recommended by the director or dean of the employee’s area, then approved by the area vice president.
Substantial business need is subject to periodic review by the area vice president. The stipend will continue until the end of the fiscal year (May 31) provided the substantial business need does not change. Approval must be renewed annually prior to the start of the fiscal year on June 1. If the substantial need changes, the stipend will be immediately discontinued.
Employees are responsible for selecting the carrier, equipment and service plan, paying the bill by the due date, and maintaining availability. The stipend is taxable income, and it will be included in W-2 wages subject to federal income tax withholding.
Stipend rates are based on business usage, and are not intended to cover entire monthly cost.
$30: Light usage for business purposes, generally up to 500 minutes per month.
$45: Medium usage for business proposes, generally 500 to 900 minutes per month.
$60: Heavy usage for business purposes, or frequent travel out of the local/regional area, generally 900 to 1,350 minutes per month.
On a very limited basis, employees may qualify for a data stipend. This stipend is available to critical decision makers and individuals whose job responsibilities routinely require accessibility by email before or after assigned work hours. Data requests must be recommended by the area dean or director and the area vice president, with final approval by the president. Data stipends range from $20 to $40 depending on the nature of the substantial business purpose.