Human Resources

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

By August 15 2021, all faculty and staff, including temporary employees, are required to be fully vaccinated. If you have not already been vaccinated, please schedule your vaccine.

Employees must upload a copy of their vaccination card to emocha and record the date(s) of their vaccination(s) (if they have not done so already) also no later than August 15. Please review the new mandatory vaccination policy below.

Newly hired employees will be given a thirty-day grace period after their verbal offer to receive their vaccination(s).

We recognize that some faculty and staff may not be able to receive the vaccine for approved medical or religious reasons. Employees who would like to request an exemption must complete the following accommodation request forms and submit them to Human Resources at hr@union.edu.

Employees who are not approved for a medical or religious accommodation and who are not vaccinated prior to August 15 will be subject to disciplinary action as follows:

  1. Staff will be placed on unpaid leave for 30 days. If by the end of the 30 days the staff member is still not vaccinated, their employment will be terminated.
  2. Faculty will be subject to disciplinary action and sanctions up to and including termination based upon the guidelines set forth in section II.IX (Procedures for Dismissal and Sanctions) of the Faculty Manual.

Requiring vaccinations will help keep our entire Union community and surrounding communities safe and healthy.


COVID-19 VACCINATION POLICY
Effective as of June 23, 2021

In support of Union College’s commitment to health and safety for all members of its community, the College will, with limited exceptions set forth in this policy, require all faculty, staff and long-term contractors who will live, study or work (as applicable) on campus during the fall 2021 term to be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine as described below.

Broad vaccination is critical to help stop the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect our community. Benefits specific to the Union College community may include:

  • In-person course offerings and academic experiences
  • Opportunities for a wider range of events and activities offered at the College
  • Greater interpersonal collaboration among faculty, students, and staff

Vaccination Record and Health Requirements
Proof of completed and current COVID-19 vaccination, including any booster shots as recommended by the FDA or CDC, will be required for all faculty and staff who will work on campus at any time during the Academic year, in each case unless a reasonable accommodation for medical, pregnancy, or religious reasons is approved as described below. Employees not in compliance with this policy may be precluded from working in-person on site, may be required to take unpaid leave of absence, or may be subject to other appropriate action as determined by the College.

Any vaccine approved by the FDA or authorized by the FDA for emergency use in the U.S. (currently Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson) is acceptable for purposes of this policy. For purposes of this policy, “completed COVID-19 vaccination” means that two or more weeks have passed since the individual received the final dose (e.g., first for Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, second for Pfizer and Moderna) of the vaccine approved by the FDA or authorized by the FDA for emergency use. Vaccine booster shots as determined to be necessary by the FDA or CDC will also be required in accordance with the most current FDA or CDC recommendations. Under the terms of the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) the decision to receive a vaccine is voluntary. As noted above however, individuals who exercise their choice and decide not to receive an EUA authorized vaccine will not be able to participate in person, unless an accommodation is sought and granted under this policy.

Faculty or staff who have received COVID-19 vaccines abroad which are not authorized for use in the United States will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Individuals arriving in the United States will not be allowed on campus in person for any reason until they are fully vaccinated (i.e. for a period of 2 weeks following the final dose of the COVID-19 vaccination).

Documentation Requirements
Acceptable documents serving as evidence of COVID-19 vaccination may include:

  1. A completed CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or other official documentation authorized by a governmental authority of competent jurisdiction; or
  2. Medical records signed by a licensed health care provider indicating vaccine name and dates of administration.

Evidence of vaccination must be submitted through emocha by no later than August 15, 2021.

Paid Leave for Vaccinations
New York State law currently entitles employees up to four hours of paid leave per COVID-19 vaccine injection for their own receipt of the vaccine. This will be paid at an employee’s regular rate of pay. This is additional paid time and has no impact on other accrued time. Employees are required to:

  • Provide their supervisor with a scheduled date/time of vaccination(s), when possible at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Clock Out/In, if applicable, during scheduled appointment(s). Supervisors will update College systems to reflect ”paid COVID leave.”
  • Submit proof of vaccination to Human Resources as described above. Please do not provide any other medical information.

Potential Accommodations:
This policy applies to all faculty and staff who will live, study or work on campus at any time during the Fall 2021 term. Employees may request reasonable accommodations to excuse compliance with the policy, in whole or in part, as follows:

  1. Employees may be accommodated, including possibly exempted, from the COVID-19 vaccination record requirement if they have a medical condition that would prevent them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. Such individuals must provide a written statement from a healthcare provider licensed to practice medicine in the United States or other country of the individual’s residence stating that the COVID-19 vaccination would be medically harmful, which provides the reasons for and duration for the exemption request. If the medical condition no longer exists, the individual must then comply with the vaccination record requirement of this policy. The College will evaluate accommodation requests in accordance with guidance from public health authorities, College policy and applicable law. The College will provide reasonable accommodations to those individuals whose medical condition currently does not allow for the COVID-19 vaccination so long as the failure to be immunized (a) will not prevent the individual from fulfilling the essential functions of his/her/their position, (b) do not cause the College undue hardship, and (c) do not pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others. Accommodations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis based on interactive discussions among the parties. Requests for accommodations on medical grounds should be made by completing the COVID-19 Medical Exemption Form and submitting the completed form to hr@union.edu.
  2. Employees may be accommodated including possibly exempted from the COVID-19 vaccination record requirement if they provide a written signed statement explaining how COVID-19 vaccination conflicts with their bona fide religious beliefs or practices. A general philosophical or moral objection to vaccination shall not suffice as the basis for exemption on religious grounds. The individual shall be required to acknowledge in writing that the individual was informed of the value of vaccination and has knowingly declined to have COVID-19 vaccination for religious reasons. The College will evaluate accommodation requests in accordance with guidance from public health authorities if applicable, College policy and applicable law. The College will provide reasonable accommodations to those individuals whose religious beliefs bar COVID-19 vaccination so long as the failure to be immunized (a) will not prevent the individual from fulfilling the essential functions of his/her/their position, (b) do not cause the College undue hardship, and (c) do not pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others. Accommodations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis based on interactive discussions among the parties. Requests for accommodations on religious grounds should be made by completing the COVID-19 Religious Exemption Form and submitting the completed form to hr@union.edu.

This policy is subject to change based on factors such as the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic, guidance from local, state and federal agencies, and changes in applicable law. Such changes will apply prospectively immediately upon being approved by the College.