ACC/FIN-3 Mobile Communication Reimbursement

Effective Date: 9/1/07
Last Revised: 7/1/17
Responsible Party: College of Human Medicine Business Office
Persons Affected: All CHM faculty and staff. Those appointed in departments jointly administered by CHM and another college may follow the reimbursement policy defined by the department or the lead college.

CHM Mixed-Use Mobile Communications Reimbursement Agreement form

I. Policy/Purpose

In order to fulfill job expectations and requirements, some employees are required to be out of their offices on a regular basis but must be readily available by phone for urgent or emergency situations during and outside of regular business hours. These employees, including the security personnel and IT personnel on the Grand Rapids and Flint campuses, are expected to be available and respond on their personally-owned mobile communication devices such as cell phones or smart phones.  Employees who meet the urgent/emergent criteria as stated may request reimbursement of $240 every 6 months to apply to their personal mobile device bill.  The supervisor or unit administrator must review and confirm at least annually that the employee continues to meet the criteria.  Reimbursement payments will be made in January and July.  Exceptions will be granted for employees who terminate the college at other times of the year.  

Employees who utilize mobile communication devices to access university  networks (eg, retrieve/send email) must agree to the MSU Acceptable Use Policy, the MSU HealthTeam Acceptable Use policy, and the MSU Institutional Data Policy. This includes the requirement that the device is password-protected.

II. Definitions

2.1 Mobile communications: includes cell phones (including non-contractual prepaid phones), smartphones, I-Pad’s, mobile broadband devices, and other wireless handheld/mobile devices which require a service contract for operation.

2.2 Mixed-use: regularly used for both personal and business purposes.

III. Procedures

3.1 Employee: Obtain agreement from immediate supervisor or unit administrator acknowledging the need for business use of a personally owned device in accordance with criteria above.

3.2 Employee: In January and/or July, complete the CHM Mixed-Use Mobile Communications Reimbursement Agreement form.

  • Read the agreement thoroughly. Note that signing the form to request reimbursement includes attestation of business need/use, understanding and agreement with this policy, the university’s policy as stated in the Manual of Business Procedures Section 79, and the MSU Institutional Data Policy. 
  • Submit the completed and signed form to the supervisor or unit administrator.

3.3 Supervisor/Unit Administrator:  

  • Sign the form verifying the employee’s business need for mixed-use mobile communication device and authorizing reimbursement for partial plan reimbursement.   
  • Retain a copy of the form in the employee’s departmental personnel file. For employees of Dean’s Office units, send the form to the college HR Office, A108 E. Fee. 

3.4 Employee or Supervisor or Designee: complete a Special Payment Authorization Form for payment in January and/or July. Send to CHM Business Office for approval and payroll routing. Note that payments are a reimbursement for the expense incurred by the employee. Example:  If an employee begins employment in CHM in July and is authorized for a mobile communications allowance, the first reimbursement payment will be made in January covering the expenses incurred during the previous July-December.

IV. Revision History

1.0 Effective date: 9/1/07 - Original
1.1 Effective date: 1/27/11 - Revised by CHM Business Office
1.2 Effective date: 7/1/14 - Revised by CHM Business Office - Change to be compliant with MSU reimbursement (not prospective) payment policy; new reimbursement schedule; modified form.
1.3 Effective date: 1/1/17 - Revised by CHM Business Office - Change from 3-level reimbursement schedule to a single amount.
1.4 Effective date: 7/1/1\ - Revised by CHM Business Office - Eligibility criteria for reimbursement changed – only staff who need to be available urgent/emergent are eligible


  1. MSU Policy:
  2. The Fair Labor Standards Act ( requires that hourly or non-exempt professional employees (level 11 and below) be paid overtime for calls/work (including reading and responding to work-related emails) outside of their normal working hours. For this reason, CHM does not authorize reimbursement for mixed-use communication for staff employees level 11 and below.