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Cell Phones / Mobile Communication Devices

Guilford College will provide either a non-taxable stipend or a mobile communication device to employees for whom mobile communication devices (MCDs) are essential for them to conduct College business.

Purpose/Reason for Policy: This policy is needed in order to:

  • Establish a consistent process across the College for those employees whose jobs require them to use mobile communication devices.

  • Comply with IRS and other regulations. 

  • Simplify administration and management of cell phone bills, payments, and reimbursements. 

Scope/Covered Persons: All faculty, staff, officers, and students who are employed by Guilford College. 

Definitions: Mobile Communication Devices Include the following:

  • Cellular telephones (including those with two-way communication capability)

  • Smartphones

  • Personal Data Assistants (PDA)

  • Wireless Cards

  • Tablets

  • Any other mobile communication devices

The Policy: Employees who have a legitimate business need for a mobile device, as demonstrated by meeting at least one of the following criteria, are eligible. [Please note that the majority of faculty and staff will not be eligible for an MCD stipend.] 

  • Job requirements that include frequent travel, out of office, working at a remote location, or without campus network access on a routine basis
  • Require different types of business usage on a mobile basis (e.g. data, calendar, e-mail, text, voice) 

  • Are required to receive or initiate emergency communication for decision making
  • Are required to be accessible and available during non-business hours


  •  Faculty must obtain the approval of the Dean/VPAA.

  •  Stipends paid with grant funding require the review and approval of the Dean/VPAA.

  •  Exempt staff below Grade 14 must obtain the approval of the area Vice President. (Exempt staff at salary grade 14 & higher are not eligible.) 

  •  Non-exempt staff must obtain the approval of the Vice President for Administration and Finance. 

Additional constraints may be imposed, articulated, and monitored by internal controls within a specific department. 

The College will provide the following options: 

Usage Type           Stipend/Plan
Normal                   $25 per month
Duty Phone            College Plan 
Hot Spot                 MiFi Plan


  • Guilford College offers a non-compensatory, non-taxable monthly stipend for employees whose duties and responsibilities require a mobile communication device and service plan.

  • Employees receiving a stipend will use their own equipment and select their carrier and plan. The College has established discounted rates with Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, but employees are not required to use those suppliers. 

  • The cell phone contract is in the employee’s name. 

  • Payment of the cell phone charges is the sole responsibility of the employee. 

  • Cancellation fees or contract change fees are the sole responsibility of the employee, including the decision to cancel the contract if employment with the College ends. 

  • No additional funding beyond the stipend, for hardware or services, will be approved.

  • An employee receiving the stipend will not be reimbursed for business or personal phone calls while in travel status unless the business travel requires add-on functionality such as international calling capability. 

The Internal Revenue Service Notice 2011-72 indicates that when an employer provides an employee with a MCD primarily for non-compensatory business reasons, the business and personal use of the MCD is generally nontaxable to the employee. The IRS will not require recordkeeping of business use in order to receive this tax free treatment. 

Other Provisions:

Employees whose job duties do not warrant a monthly stipend, or are not approved for an MCD but incur an extra personal cost for business related usage on infrequent basis, may submit those expenses for reimbursement. The employee must do both of the following:

  • Show an episodic and substantiated business need. 

  • Complete and submit an approved expenditure voucher with all relevant documentation. 

In rare cases, MCD services can be on a Pooled Device and Service plan, directly paid by College funds (contact the VP for Administration and Finance to establish plans), if:

  1. Devices are shared among individuals in a department and are not assigned to any one individual. 

  2. Devices are not used for personal calls. 

Roles and Responsibilities:

Approval Authorities are responsible for the following: 

  • Providing a funding source 

  • Enforcing the policy/procedure 

  • Establishing the appropriate usage needed by the employee for business use 

  • Reviewing the usage on an annual basis for continued business need to justify the value of the stipend. If business use fails to consistently justify the value of the stipend, the approval authority should amend and/or discontinue the stipend. 

Employees Receiving the stipend are responsible for the following: 

  • Safeguard College data and adhere to any existing College data security standards, policies, and procedures. 

  • Maintain an active MCD service plan. 

  • Let the Approval Authority know if/when they no longer have a justified business reason for receiving the MCD stipend.

  • Provide the MCD phone number to his or her department and customers as needed and keep the MCD charged, turned on, and available for business calls during his or her work hours and expected times for contact. MCD number must be provided for College emergency notification. 

Compliance: Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. 

Other related Policies, Regulations, Statutes and Documents:


Payment of Stipends

  • A Personnel Action Form (PAF) must be completed, approved by the appropriate Approval Authority,  and sent to Payroll. 

  • All stipends will be non-taxable and added to the employee’s regular paycheck. 

  • MCD stipends will be canceled when an employee transfers to another position. A new PAF will need to be completed if the MCD is required for the new position.

  • A new PAF cancelling the stipend must be submitted when an employee is no longer eligible for the stipend, due to a change in responsibilities, funding, or approval. 

Approval Authority: Vice President, Administration and Finance

Responsible Office: Len Sippel, Vice President for Administration and Finance, Bauman 105B, 336.316.2841, 

Revision History: 
February 13, 2018 — Adopted by the Senior Team