These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are intended to assist employees in understanding the Mandatory Covid-19 Vaccination Policy for Employees. In all instances, the policy will govern the interpretation and application of NSU’s mandatory employee vaccination program. Periodically, these FAQs will be updated with additional responses. If you have questions that are not answered in these FAQs, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compliance with the Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination Policy for Employees is still required for continued employment at NSU. Employees are compliant by being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (two weeks after final dose of initial vaccination regimen) or approved for exemption.
Employees granted temporary exemptions are encouraged to complete the vaccination process prior to the exemption expiration date, if medically appropriate. However, if an employee is still in need of continuing exemption, the state of Florida recently provided employers with additional exemption options for employees with a regular assigned work location in the state of Florida. Please refer to the website Exemption, Reasonable Accommodation, And Interactive Process For Mandatory Employee COVID-19 Vaccination for more information about exemption options.
Employees granted exemption must agree to follow safety protocols of masking, social distancing and the use of other employer-provided personal protective equipment as required for the foreseeable future.
I am not pregnant but may be soon, and my physician suggests I wait to be vaccinated. Am I eligible for an exemption?
Employees with a regular assigned work location in the state of Florida have the option to request exemption from the mandatory vaccination requirement if anticipating pregnancy and the medical provider confirms vaccination is not currently in the best medical interest of the employee. For more information about the exemption request process for anticipated pregnancy, please review the web page Exemption, Reasonable Accommodation, And Interactive Process For Mandatory Employee COVID-19 Vaccination.
Please be mindful that NSU employees must be fully vaccinated or receive an approved exemption not later than September 20, 2021. Fully vaccinated means completion of vaccination administration (1-dose Johnson & Johnson or 2-dose Moderna or Pfizer) plus 2 weeks (to permit antibodies to fully develop).
To comply with the policy by September 20th, your critical dates for vaccination are:
August 9th – Latest date to get the 1st dose of the Moderna vaccine (requires 4-week interval between doses)
August 16th – Latest date to get the 1st dose of the Pfizer vaccine (requires 3-week interval between doses)
September 6th - Latest date to get the one-dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or final dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine
Also, your critical date for requesting a vaccination exemption based on medical, pregnancy or religious reasons is:
On or before September 6th – You are strongly encouraged to submit your request on or before September 6th to receive a decision from the Office of Human Resources prior to September 20th.
The entry of an employee’s vaccination information into the NSU Vax Max portal is considered confidential medical information and treated as such by NSU. The information itself is collected and retained by NSU following the heightened security requirements for confidential medical information. As confidential medical information, an employee’s vaccination information is not entered into his/her Banner personnel file and is maintained in a secure encrypted HIPAA-compliant OIIT database.
To date, the disclosures into the Max Vax portal have been reported only in the aggregate, either university-wide or by college and administrative unit. Also, to date, no listing by name of an employee’s vaccination status has been distributed to deans or vice presidents. As we approach the September 20th compliance deadline, there will be a business necessity for deans and vice presidents to know which employees have not been vaccinated and have not received an exemption. This limited communication to deans and vice presidents will be necessary to enable them to plan for a possible transition of duties should an employee choose not to comply by the September 20th deadline. In this regard, such information will be communicated on a strict need-to-know basis.
In the event of an actual or potential exposure incident, NSU Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) personnel will conduct contact tracing to determine who may have been exposed and who must follow remedial measures such as quarantining and testing. For this purpose, your information may be accessed by EHS to determine an employee’s self-reported vaccination status and proof of vaccination may be required to confirm the self-reported information.
If you intend to vaccinate but are prevented from doing so by circumstances outside your control, you may be granted a temporary exemption from the policy until such time as you have medical clearance to receive the vaccine. The required forms and description of the documentation necessary to submit such a request are found here.
Yes, it is undisputed that employers nationwide and most certainly in Florida and Puerto Rico may require employees to be vaccinated as a condition of their continued employment. Employers may even require employees to provide proof of vaccination. Providing proof of vaccination is not a requirement of NSU’s policy. Rather, NSU employees are being asked to submit the date of their completed vaccination through the Vax Max portal.
The NSU Mandatory Covid-19 Vaccination Policy for Employees was developed in compliance with all state and local laws and is based upon guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health and licensing authorities, as applicable. The policy is intended to safeguard the health and well-being of employees and their families, our students, and others who spend time on our campuses and in our facilities from the infectious conditions of COVID-19 that can be reduced through an effective mandatory employee vaccination program.
The policy is effective August 1, 2021 and requires all current NSU employees and new hires to be fully vaccinated or receive an approved exemption on or before September 20, 2021.
All current NSU employees including full-time and part-time NSU faculty, staff, adjunct faculty (teaching in-person or with in-person meeting requirements), temporary employees, and newly hired employees in any of these classifications are required to comply with the policy.
You are encouraged to read the full policy here. In summary, the policy requires that all NSU employees be fully vaccinated or receive an approved exemption on or before September 20, 2021. It also requires employees to report the Covid-19 vaccination completion date into the Vax Max Reporting portal.
A person is considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after receiving either the single-dose vaccine or two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine. It takes two weeks after completion of the vaccination for antibodies to develop for disease resistance.
Adjunct faculty teaching in-person (i.e. not virtually) or assigned other in-person activities during the fall semester need to comply with the policy by the September 20, 2021 deadline. Going forward, adjunct faculty who have not previously complied with the policy will need to comply and show proof of vaccination or approved exemption prior to the start of their in-person teaching assignment. Adjuncts who only teach remotely and have no in-person meeting requirements are not covered under the mandatory vaccine policy. If an adjunct faculty member subsequently accepts an assignment requiring an in-person participation, s/he will need to comply with the mandatory vaccine policy prior to the start of the assignment.
New hires starting work on or after September 20, 2021 will need to show proof of vaccination or an approved exemption prior to their first day on the job.
No, current employees and new hires starting work prior to September 20, 2021 only need to accurately record the date of their completed vaccination into Vax Max. Please note: In the event of an actual or potential workplace exposure incident, an employee may be required to provide proof of vaccination or an approved exemption.
If an employee submitted the date of his/her completed vaccination into the Vax Max portal, the employee has complied with the policy. You do not need to submit any additional information into Vax Max. Please note: If you previously reported into Vax Max that you are not vaccinated, you need to report your completed vaccination information into Vax Max or submit an exemption request.
An employee can receive either a single-dose vaccine such as Johnson & Johnson or a two-dose vaccine such as Moderna or Pfizer.
To be considered fully vaccinated, you will need to receive your one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine not later than September 6, 2021.
Working remotely does not exempt you from the policy requirement for a completed vaccination or exemption.
An employee may request an exemption due to an underlying medical condition; pregnancy or pregnancy-related medical condition; or a strongly held religious belief, observance, or practice. The required forms and supporting documentation for requesting an exemption are found here.
No. An employee must receive an approved exemption from the Office of Human Resources (OHR) on or before September 20, 2021 to comply with the policy. You are strongly encouraged to submit your exemption request on or before September 6, 2021 to receive a decision from OHR prior to the September 20th deadline.
Immediately after exemption approval, OHR will begin the “interactive process” to determine the availability of a reasonable accommodation enabling you to continue working without being vaccinated.
OHR will meet with you and your college or unit administrator to discuss options for you to continue to perform your work safely, effectively, and efficiently. In many cases, employees will be able to report to their campus or office workspace wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and abiding by any other applicable NSU health and safety protocols.
If an exemption request is denied, an employee will need to become fully vaccinated and submit that information into the Vax Max portal. An employee may seek a review of the denial through an appeal process described here.
Employees not in compliance with the policy by September 20, 2021 may exercise the option to convert to an unpaid leave of absence for up to 45 days to consider vaccination options and/or submit an exemption request. Employees who submit their completed vaccination information into Vax Max or receive an approved OHR vaccine exemption at any time during the leave period will be authorized to return to work consistent with operational needs.
At the end of the 45-day unpaid leave period, OHR will meet with the employee to receive his/her updated information and determine whether additional leave time or separation is warranted. At any time prior to the end of the unpaid leave of absence, an employee may elect to resign in good standing from NSU in lieu of complying with the policy.
No, the 45 day leave period is unpaid. An employee may return to paid status following compliance with the mandatory vaccination policy.
Per NSU policy, there is no accrual of vacation or sick leave time during an unpaid leave. Also, an employee is responsible for the employer and employee premium of his/her enrolled insurance plans. Upon return from leave, NSU’s share of premium contribution will be reinstated.
Yes, up to two (2) hours of paid release time will be provided for employees to obtain each vaccine dose subject to the scheduling requirements of your work unit. Please submit your request directly to your supervisor.
NSU is currently hosting a Florida Department of Health vaccine site at the Rolling Hills building, 7901 SW 36th Street in Davie. The site is open from noon to 8pm Monday through Wednesday and 10am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday.
All CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Publix Pharmacies continue to provide vaccinations, most on a walk-in basis. Please refer to the Florida Department of Health vaccination site locator for locations throughout Florida. All vaccines are free of charge.
Yes, sick leave is available to any employee for needed time off after receiving the vaccine.
As with any health consideration, it can be helpful to discuss with a trusted advisor such as your doctor or other health professional. An additional resource is the Employee Assistance Program, free to all NSU employees.