Responsible Office – Department:
Employee Engagement / Emergency Response Team
Effective Date of Policy:
October 12, 2021
Daemen College prioritizes the safety and well-being of its community members above all else and therefore, all policies and procedures that are outlined as part of the College’s official response to a public health emergency must be followed explicitly. Campus policies are put in place in compliance with Erie County Department of Health, New York State, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization Guidelines. Additionally, all faculty and staff are required to take personal responsibility for their health and the health of others. Failure to abide by this policy will make the employee ineligible to work at Daemen and will result in termination of employment.
This Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy applies to all employees of Daemen College, and employees of partner business entities that operate on campus. All employees, regardless of full time, part time, per diem, or temporary status, are required to receive a completed course of one of the FDA approved COVID-19 vaccinations (Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson).
Exemptions will be provided when the vaccination is contraindicated, the employee requires a delay in vaccination due to medical reasons, or they are entitled to a reasonable accommodation due to a disability, sincerely held religious beliefs, practices, or observances that conflict with the vaccination requirement. See the Accommodations/Exemptions Procedures below for further information.
In addition, full-time employees who have already received approval to teach all courses remotely for the Fall 2021 semester are exempt from the COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirement at this time. A full-time faculty member who falls under this category will be expected to comply with all aspects of this policy in future semesters if they are no longer approved to fully teach online. Requests to teach remotely to avoid this policy will not be considered.
In order to be in compliance with this policy, Daemen College employees will be required to complete a course of one of the FDA approved vaccines for COVID-19. Upon receiving the vaccine(s), and before the stated deadlines to be vaccinated have expired, employees will be required to upload either proof of vaccination to the Daemen College COVID-19 upload site or apply for, and receive, a Daemen approved accommodation to be exempted from the requirement.
Supporting COVID-19 Vaccination
An employee may take up to four hours as COVID-19 paid time per dose to travel to the vaccination site, receive a vaccination, and return to work. This would mean a maximum of eight hours of time off for employees receiving two doses. If an employee spends less time getting the vaccine, only the necessary amount of time will be granted. If an employee is vaccinated outside of their regular work schedule, they will not be compensated.
Employees may utilize up to two work days of sick time immediately following each dose if they have side effects from the COVID-19 vaccination that prevent them from working. Employees who have no sick time available will be granted up to two days of additional sick time immediately following each dose if necessary.
Accommodations / Exemptions Procedure
Unvaccinated faculty or staff with a diagnosed medical condition or deeply held religious belief may apply for an exemption from receiving an approved COVID-19 vaccine. Once the appropriate exemption form and supporting documentation are complete, they must be uploaded to the Employee Engagement Secure Portal. The medical exemption form must be signed by a licensed healthcare provider with MD, DO or NP credential(s). Religious exemption forms must be signed by the appropriate ordained spiritual leader with whom the applicant has been practicing.
Upon submission, the Office of Employee Engagement will remove all personal identifiable information from each application in order to protect both the privacy of the individual and the integrity of the process. These de-identified applications will be forwarded to a small committee of Daemen personnel who will render a decision based on the submitted request and supporting documentation. Once requests are received, it will take approximately 15 days for review and response.
Weekly Off-Site Testing Requirement
All faculty and staff members who are not vaccinated are required to complete weekly COVID-19 virus testing once every seven days. An employee who does not report to the workplace during a period of seven or more days (i.e. they are on vacation, they are working remotely, they are on a leave of absence) must be tested within seven days prior to returning to the workplace and provide documentation of such.
If a faculty or staff member does not provide proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by the date for compliance, they will not be eligible to return to work. Those faculty and staff who are not vaccinated cannot work for Daemen without current proof of a negative test on file.
Testing off campus*: Faculty and staff members are expected to test off campus and submit the test result to the CHIP Center at daemen.edu/covid19upload no later than Wednesday of each week they are working. The College will allow up to 90 minutes paid time to complete the weekly testing requirement. There are several testing locations that provide COVID-19 testing free of charge. Daemen is not responsible for any charges/costs related to obtaining the COVID-19 weekly test.
Please note that at-home COVID-19 virus tests will not be accepted as there is no way to verify essential details of the test such as: the patient who tested, when the test was completed, etc. Testing must be completed at a pharmacy, healthcare facility or other off campus facility that offers COVID-19 virus testing and appropriate documentation.
On-Site Testing Option for Hardships
Faculty or staff may request a hardship exemption to the weekly off site testing by sending an email request including the reasons they should be exempted to HR@daemen.edu. Employees will be notified in writing by the Employee Engagement Office if they are approved. Hardships may be granted for issues related to transportation, child care, etc. Employees with an approved hardship on file can schedule and complete weekly testing on campus through the CHIP Center during a regularly scheduled COVID-19 testing clinic. The test conducted will be the rapid antigen test (Abbott BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card*) which is a self-controlled nasal swab that is performed by the individual with instruction and supervision from the tester.
Tests are $10.00 each and payment is required to be made at the college’s business office (Dun Scotus 106) BEFORE testing. Once paid, the faculty or staff member must bring their receipt to the CHIP Center to complete the test. Test results are available 15 minutes after the test is completed and will be shared by the NAVICA app which the faculty or staff member must download.
Safety Guidance for Employees who are not fully vaccinated
All individuals who are not fully vaccinated are subject to additional public health requirements. This includes, but is not limited to, masking on campus while indoors in semi-private spaces, in indoor private spaces in the presence of others, and outdoors when distance cannot be maintained. Masks are not required while eating, but individuals must maintain at least a 6’ physical distance from others while eating in any indoor or outdoor space. Anyone with an approved exemption will need to follow the protocols for unvaccinated individuals.
For Job Applicants and Newly Hired Employees
All employees covered by this policy are required to be fully vaccinated as a term and condition of employment at Daemen College.
As part of the implementation of this policy, any new employee must receive their first dosage of an approved COVID-19 vaccination prior to their start date. If the approved vaccination requires a second dosage, the employee must provide proof of the second dosage within 30 days of their start date. Failure to do so will result in immediate termination.
Until they are fully vaccinated (14 days after final dose), all new hires must follow the precautions and protocols noted above for those not fully vaccinated including weekly off-site testing.
Applicants are eligible to apply for a religious and/or medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement during the application process.
Confidentiality and Privacy
All medical information collected from individuals, including vaccination information, test results, and any other information obtained as a result of testing, will be treated in accordance with applicable laws and policies on confidentiality and privacy.