Dear AU Faculty and Staff,
As part of our preparations for the fall semester, the return to in-person learning, and our new hybrid work environment, we will begin implementing the COVID-19 vaccine requirement that President Burwell announced on May 24 and the process for requesting reasonable workplace accommodations due to a disability related to the return to in-person presence. These efforts contribute to the health and safety of our community and support our teams as we move forward with our fall operations.
COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement
The vaccine attestation form is now available on the AU Forward portal. All faculty and staff must complete the vaccine attestation or request an exemption to the vaccine requirement by August 1, 2021. As a reminder, AU is hosting a vaccination clinic on campus this summer. Information and schedules can be found on the website.
Exemptions to the vaccine requirement will be considered for individuals with medical conditions that prevent them from being vaccinated and for individuals with sincerely held religious beliefs that prohibit them from being vaccinated. To request an exemption, follow the prompts in the attestation form. Exemption requests will be reviewed by Employee Relations with assistance on medical exemption requests from our vendor Prudential Insurance Disability Services. HR will notify employees of the outcome of their request. Employees with approved exemptions will comply with additional health and safety requirements including, but not limited to, weekly COVID-19 testing and required mask wearing while on campus.
Employees currently on approved leave will be required to submit the vaccine attestation or exemption request prior to returning to campus. Those employed through nextSource are excused from the requirement because they do not have a campus presence.
Our procedures for vaccine attestation or requesting an exemption follow recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the DC Department of Health, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. For more information, please review the university’s Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Directive and the frequently asked questions about vaccinations on the University’s Health and Safety FAQs page.
Workplace Reasonable Accommodations
We have also improved our process for employees to request workplace reasonable accommodations due to a disability-related to the return to in-person presence. Faculty and staff seeking accommodations due to a disability or medical condition to allow them to perform the essential functions of their jobs should complete the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form. Requests can be submitted at any time.
Accommodations may include but are not limited to additional or enhanced protective measures, temporary modifications of work schedules, or revised office space. Generally, accommodations will not include exclusively remote work for duties that require campus presence. Accommodations are applicable for the employee only. Employees seeking modified schedules to care for family members or support household members who may be immune-compromised may consider Family Medical Leave.
Requests for accommodations will be reviewed by Employee Relations and Prudential Insurance Disability Services. HR will seek input from the employee's supervisor, who has knowledge about the duties of the position and worksite, to help determine what may be a reasonable accommodation and its feasibility. HR will notify employees of the outcome of requests and any associated details for approved accommodations. Medical accommodation documents previously submitted to Prudential since fall 2020 may be used to expedite the evaluation of a request for fall 2021.
Any request for a reasonable accommodation due to a disability or medical condition will be kept in the strictest of confidence, maintained in a separate file, and will only be available to designated Employee Relations staff.
Thank you for your attention to these matters and your timely completion of the vaccine attestation or exemption process, which are important aspects of our planning for the fall and ensuring the health and safety of our community. If you have any questions about vaccine attestation, exemption, or workplace accommodation processes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Starr, Acting Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Monica Jackson, Interim Deputy Provost & Dean of Faculty
Seth Grossman, Vice President for People and External Affairs & Chief of Staff
Beth Muha, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources