Cellular Phone Use

Policy and Procedure:

1. Personal Cellular Phones

While at work employees are expected to exercise the same discretion in using personal cellular phones as is expected for the use of company phones. Excessive personal calls during the workday, regardless of the phone used, can interfere with employee productivity and be distracting to others. A reasonable standard the company encourages is to limit personal calls during work time to no more than one per day as needed. Employees are therefore asked to make any other personal calls to non-work time where possible and to ensure that friends and family members are aware of the company's policy. Flexibility will be provided in circumstances demanding immediate attention. 

The company will not be liable for the loss of personal cellular phones brought into the workplace.

2. Personal Use of Company-Provided Cellular Phones

Where job or business needs demand immediate access to an employee the company may issue a business cell phone to an employee for work-related communications. In order to protect the employee from incurring a tax liability for the personal use of this equipment, such phones are to be used for business reasons only. Phone logs will be audited regularly to ensure no unauthorized use has occurred.

If an employee experiences a severe personal emergency that results in the need to use the company's cellular phone, he or she is required to report this use to the Accounting Department within 48 hours. The employee will be asked to sign a form specifying the number called and the reason for the call as well as a specific authorization to deduct the cost of the call from his or her paycheck when the bill is received.  Failure to report such use may result in disciplinary action. Failure to reimburse the company for the cost of the call will result in tax liability for the employee as well as possible disciplinary action. 

Employees in possession of company equipment such as cellular phones are expected to protect the equipment from loss, damage or theft. Upon resignation or termination of employment, or at any time upon request, the employee may be asked to produce the phone for return or inspection. Employees unable to present the phone in good working condition within the time period requested (i.e. 24 hours) may be expected to bear the cost of a replacement.

Employees who separate from employment with outstanding debts for equipment loss or unauthorized charges will be considered to have left employment on unsatisfactory terms and may be subject to legal action for recovery of the loss.

3. Safety Issues for Cellular Phone Use

Employees whose job responsibilities include regular or occasional driving and who are issued a cell phone for business use are expected to refrain from using their phone while driving. Safety must come before all other concerns. Regardless of the circumstances, including slow or stopped traffic, employees are strongly encouraged to pull off to the side of the road and safely stop the vehicle before placing or accepting a call. If acceptance of a call is unavoidable and pulling over is not an option, employees are expected to keep the call short, use hands-free options if available, refrain from discussion of complicated or emotional discussions and keep their eyes on the road. Special care should be taken in situations where there is traffic, inclement weather or the employee is driving in an unfamiliar area.

In situations where job responsibilities include regular driving and accepting of business calls, hands-free equipment will be provided to facilitate the provisions of this policy.

Employees whose job responsibilities do not specifically include driving as an essential function, but who are issued a cell phone for business use, are also expected to abide by the provisions above. Under no circumstances are employees allowed to place themselves at risk to fulfill business needs.

Employees who are charged with traffic violations resulting from the use of their phone while driving will be solely responsible for all liabilities that result from such actions.

Violations of this policy will be subject to the highest forms of discipline, including termination.

4. Special Responsibilities for Managerial Staff

As with any policy, management staff is expected to serve as role models for proper compliance with the provisions above and are encouraged to regularly remind employees of their responsibilities in complying with this policy.