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Weekly COVID Newsletter Special Edition

Posted in: Weekly COVID Newsletter

Weekly Covid Newsletter

Vaccination Policy for Employees

In his remarks to faculty and staff on Red Hawk Day, President Koppell said, “we need to take the steps that allow us to keep people on campus in a safe and secure way. That’s why we’re moving to expand the vaccination mandate that was put in place for students to include faculty, librarians, professional staff and managers on our way to full coverage of the campus as mandated recently in the announcement by the governor.”

Consistent with the President’s statement, the University today published an Employee COVID-19 Vax Check and Vaccination Policy. Under the new policy all employees are required to notify the University of their vaccination status using the Vax Check portal. Doing this provides the University with accurate information about the protection of our campus community. Vax Check is also how we will track compliance with the vaccination mandate for employees.

The policy also establishes a requirement for all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have an approved exemption for medical or religious reasons. The requirement will be phased in for different groups, to allow for consultation and collaboration with the unions regarding the implementation details.

Vax Check Requirements

The employee vaccination policy requires all employees to use Vax Check to confirm their vaccination status, provide proof of vaccination, or request a medical or religious exemption no later than Friday, September 10 at 5 p.m. Any employee who fails to confirm their vaccination status or submit an exemption application using Vax Check will be placed on unpaid leave effective September 13 until they provide the information.

Specifically, employees are required to go into the Vax Check portal and do one of the following:

  • If vaccinated, upload proof of vaccination (either full or partial), or
  • Submit a request for an exemption for medical or religious reasons, or
  • Confirm your vaccination status.

Submitting proof of vaccination: You may submit proof of being partially vaccinated (having the first shot of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines) or proof of being completely vaccinated. If you only have the first dose of a two-shot vaccine, you’ll be able to go in later and submit proof that you have gotten the second shot.

Requesting a waiver: Under state law, employees may request an exemption from vaccination for medical reasons or because getting immunized would violate a sincerely-held religious belief. To request such a waiver, download an exemption request form on the Human Resources website, fill it out and upload it in Vax Check no later than October 1. You must submit any supporting documentation for the waiver request by emailing it to

If you are neither submitting proof nor requesting an exemption, you will click a box in Vax Check to confirm your vaccination status.

Remember, everyone must report their vaccination status using Vax Check no later Friday, September 10. If you have already completed Vax Check, you do not need to do it again.

If you have any questions about Vax Check, email or call Occupational Health at 973-655-5014.

Vaccination Policy Implementation

New hires and adjunct instructors who receive new contracts are already required to be vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19.

AFT Local 1904 has entered into an agreement with the University regarding implementation of vaccination policy. Therefore, effective immediately, this mandate has been extended to all managers, temporary employees, and the faculty and staff members who are represented by AFT Local 1904. The procedural details are spelled out in the policy document.

Discussions are underway at state level with CWA, IFPTE and PBA-SLEU about the implementation of the vaccine requirement for their members, and when those talks conclude, the University will move to implement the agreed-upon procedures for these employees.

Managers and temporary employees who have not been approved for an exemption are required to provide proof of complete vaccination or having received the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccination by October 1, 2021. Employees that report receiving the first dose by October 1, 2021 must be completely vaccinated by November 1, 2021. Managers and temporary employees who received the first dose of Pfizer or Moderna by October 1, 2021 and fail to confirm they are completely vaccinated by November 1 will be placed on a five-day unpaid leave of absence and subject to progressive discipline.

Employees represented by AFT Local 1904 who have not been approved for a medical or religious exemption are required to provide proof of complete vaccination by December 15, 2021 and are subject to the testing requirement until they do so. AFT employees who fail to confirm they are completely vaccinated by this date will be placed on unpaid leave until they provide proof of vaccination.

For questions about the employee vaccination policy, contact HR Benefits by emailing