COVID-19 Vaccination and Safety Protocol Requirements for University Employees and Student Workers

Responsible Officer
Ken Horstman
Vice President, Office of Human Resources
Owner
Ken Horstman
Vice President, Office of Human Resources
Primary Contact
Mani Vang
Director of Employee and Labor Relations
Last Revised
Effective Date

Policy Statement

This policy establishes a uniform set of standards for COVID-19 vaccination and safety that applies broadly across the University community. The goal of this policy is to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection within and beyond the University community, in a manner that is consistent with public health guidelines and complies with evolving state and federal requirements.

Scope

All University faculty, staff, graduate assistants, graduate student workers, undergraduate student workers, adjuncts, professionals in training, residents, and fellows (“Covered Individuals”) are covered under this policy. Affiliates, including external service providers, are exempt from this requirement. Appendix: Vaccine Requirement Job Codes provides a complete list of included job codes and excluded affiliate and external service provider codes.

All Covered Individuals must comply with the requirements in the Appendix: Required COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Covered Individuals.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

By December 3, 2021, Covered Individuals must submit documentation that they are fully vaccinated or in the process of becoming fully vaccinated with an acceptable vaccine as described in the Procedure: Certification of COVID-19 Vaccine Documents, or submit a request for a medical or religious exemption as described below.

Covered Individuals who are hired after December 3, 2021 must submit documentation that they are fully vaccinated or submit a request for a medical or religious exemption on their first day of employment. Failure to do so may result in rescission of the job offer, a delay in the start date, or other action as determined by the Vice President of Human Resources or their designee.

Vaccination Boosters

The University may require Covered Individuals to receive booster shots at appropriate intervals. Any such requirement will be communicated to Covered Individuals via email.

Exemptions from COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

To be exempted from the vaccination requirement in this policy, a Covered Individual must submit a request on an approved form (see Forms section of this policy), respond to requests for additional information, if applicable, and not have the exemption request denied, as described in the Procedure: Certification of COVID-19 Vaccine Documents.

Medical Exemption

If a Covered Individual has a medical condition that, in the opinion of a Medical Doctor (MD), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Physician Assistant (PA), Nurse Practitioner (NP), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) contraindicates vaccination against COVID-19, the Covered Individual may seek an exemption by submitting a COVID-19 Vaccination Medical Exemption Request Form that is completed and signed by one of the above licensed providers or equivalent licensed medical provider outside of the United States for Covered Individuals located outside of the United States. Forms completed by other providers will be rejected. The Covered Individual may not be the licensed provider. For a summary of Centers for Disease Control guidance on contraindications to COVID-19 vaccination, see the Appendix: CDC Summary Document for Interim Clinical Considerations.

Sincerely Held Religious Belief Exemption

If receiving the vaccination is contrary to a Covered Individual’s sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance, and no COVID-19 vaccine is available that would be acceptable in light of that sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance, the Covered Individual may seek an exemption by completing a COVID-19 Sincerely Held Religious Belief Exemption Request Form. The Covered Individual must sign the form, with their signature witnessed by a notary public. Individuals within Minnesota can locate a notary public through the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website. Out-of-state individuals can contact their local HR administrator to determine the appropriate resource for their location and situation.

Use of Data

The information that Covered Individuals provide under this policy will be treated as private and may be shared in the follow circumstances:

  • Within the University, to a University employee when this information is needed to perform their job duties, e.g. supervision, health & safety, legal, and human resources
  • Outside of the University, to individuals who are authorized to have access under federal of state law, including the Minnesota Department of Health.

For Covered Individuals who are student workers or health sciences learners, including residents and fellows, this information may also be shared with school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the information, including academic support personnel, and others authorized by law.

Pay and Leave Provisions

Covered Individuals may be eligible for pay and/or paid leave under this policy as described in the Appendix: COVID-19 Vaccination Pay and Leave Provisions. These provisions address time needed to be vaccinated or tested for COVID-19, or to recover from side effects of vaccination for COVID-19.

Reason for Policy

COVID-19 vaccines have been demonstrated to reduce risk substantially of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 and have low rates of side effects. Vaccination of Covered Individuals aids in reducing the impact of COVID-19 on the University community. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines see the Centers for Disease Control’s Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines. This policy is intended to ensure compliance with evolving federal and state standards while advancing the health and wellbeing of the University community.

Contacts

Subject Contact Phone Email
Primary Contact Employee and Labor Relations 4-UOHR (612-624-8647
800-756-2363)
[email protected]

Definitions

Affiliate
A non-employee appointment type used to grant individuals access to University resources or systems for an assigned purpose
Covered Individuals
For the purposes of this policy, all University faculty, staff, graduate assistants, graduate student workers, undergraduate student workers, adjuncts, professionals in training, residents, and fellows with job codes included in the Appendix: Vaccine Requirement Job Codes.
Fully Vaccinated
At least 14 days have passed after administration of a single dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or 14 days have passed after administration of the second dose of any other acceptable COVID-19 Vaccine.
In the process of becoming Fully Vaccinated
An individual has received at least one dose of any acceptable COVID-19 vaccine and, if part of a two-dose COVID-19 Vaccine, will complete the second dose in accord with the dosage administration interval specified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or World Health Organization approved instructions for healthcare providers.
HR Administrator
Human resources staff designated by the Senior Director of Employee and Labor Relations to review, verify and upload required COVID-19 vaccination documentation or exemption request documentation on behalf of a Covered Individual

Responsibilities

Covered Individuals
Submit documentation of proof of vaccination or submit relevant exemption request prior to December 3, 2021 or first day of employment if a new hire; provide additional documentation as requested by HR Administrator
HR Administrators
As described in Administrative Procedure: Certification of COVID-19 Vaccine Documents, review and verify credentials and exemption request documentation submitted by a Covered Individual; notify Covered Individual and the Vice President of Human Resources or their designee when the exemption request documentation is insufficient, assist with upload of documentation as requested
Primary Building Contact
Ensure appropriate signage is posted at all entrances to building, as required
Vice President of Human Resources
In the event of an appeal to a denied exemption, review and make a determination

History

Amended:
Policy has undergone 30 day review. The following changes were made:
  • Change the Reason for Policy section to reflect legal uncertainty around regulations and justify the policy regardless of legal outcome
  • Update the Procedure: Certification of COVID-19 Vaccine Documents list of acceptable vaccines
  • In the Appendix: COVID-19 Vaccination Pay and Leave Provisions, eliminate paid leave to get vaccinated, since all new hires now have to be vaccinated
  • In the Appendix: Required COVID-19 Safety Protocols, change references to expected MNOSHA standards on required testing to be more vague, given uncertain legal environment
Effective:
November 2021

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Notification: Please be aware that while we rarely receive these data requests, any information submitted through this comment form is public, including your name, email address and comment/question, unless you are a student.

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