This policy outlines the use of personal or business cell phones at work, the personal use of business phones and the policy regarding the safe use of cell phones by employees.

Direct Support Professionals

Personal or business calls during work hours interfere with productivity, reduce the amount of attention given to Participants and may be distracting to others.

A Direct Support Professional (DSP) is prohibited from using cellular telephones for personal or business reasons during the times they are supervising participants. This includes, but is not limited to, listening to music such that it prevents or impedes interaction with Participants, talking on the cellular telephone, texting, using the internet, checking email, or playing games.  In addition, the cellular telephone must be in a silent or vibrate mode at all times during working hours. In the case of an important communication with a family member or an actual emergency, the DSP, if possible, should request that another appropriate individual take over supervision of the Participants while the emergency call is being handled. If no one is available, the DSP shall ensure the safety of the Participants while accepting the call. If the DSP is driving a vehicle, a call can be taken only after finding a safe location to pull over and stop the vehicle (See In-Vehicle Cell Phone Use Policy p.14).

DSPs who are required to conduct business using a personal or business phone should do so outside of direct supervision hours or follow the procedures for accepting an emergency or family call.

Staff Who Do Not Supervise Participants

Staff who do not supervise participants may use cellular telephones during working hours for business purposes. However, use of a cellular telephone shall not interfere with the employee’s ability to satisfactorily perform job duties including, but not limited to, the employee’s ability to provide prompt and appropriate service in his/her position. Except in the case of an actual emergency, personal use of cellular telephones during working time is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, talking on the cellular telephone, texting, using the internet, checking email playing games and/or listening to music.

Management

Managers are expected only to exercise discretion in the use of cellular telephones. Use of a cellular telephone by management shall not interfere with their ability to satisfactorily perform the duties of his/her job including but not limited to prompt and appropriate service.

General Provisions

All employees are free to use their cellular phones in a non-disruptive manner during their break and lunch periods.

The Arc shall not be liable for lost or stolen personal cell phones brought into the workplace. Cellular telephones may not be used to defame, harass, intimidate, or threaten any other person. Employees are prohibited from using their cell phones in any illegal, illicit or offensive manner.

Personal Use of Agency Cell Phones

Where The Arc’s needs demand immediate access to an employee, The Arc may issue a business cellular telephone to an employee for work-related communications. Except in the case of employees who are issued a phone as part of the employee’s taxable compensation, such phones are to be used for business reasons only. Personal calls shall be limited to actual emergencies only. Phone bills may be audited to ensure no unauthorized use has occurred.

Employees shall reimburse the Arc for any overage charges related to personal calls.  Employees in possession of Arc equipment such as cell phones are expected to protect the equipment from loss, damage or theft. Upon resignation, termination of employment, or at any time upon request, the employee shall be asked to produce the equipment for return or inspection. Employees unable to present the equipment, in good working condition allowing for reasonable wear and tear, within a reasonable time period (i.e. 24 hours) shall bear the cost of a replacement. Employees who separate from employment with outstanding debts for equipment loss or unauthorized charges shall be considered to have left employment on unsatisfactory terms and may be subject to legal action for recovery of the loss. Any outstanding debt shall be deducted from the employee’s final pay check.

Violations of Policy

Employees who violate this policy shall be subject to disciplinary actions, up to and including termination of employment.

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