Massachusetts Community College Vaccine Requirement Employee FAQ
FAQ regarding the upcoming COVID-19 Vaccination requirement. Updated as of November 22, 2021.
Do I have to be vaccinated if I am employed by Northern Essex Community College?
Yes. All full and part-time employees including faculty and staff, contract and/or hourly employees, interns, and volunteers regardless of whether work assignments are online or in-person as well as to those consultants, vendors or business/governmental invitees that have a regular presence on campus and/or routinely interact with students and/or employees, as determined by the College are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit written proof of an official record of full vaccination status.
Certain other individuals, including consultants, vendors, and other business/governmental invitees may be required to be vaccinated. Please view the full employee vaccination policy for detail.
What’s the deadline for providing proof of my vaccination status?
All employees must submit written proof of an official record of full vaccination status no later than January 3, 2021.
How do I provide my written proof of an official record of full vaccination?
NECC employees will be asked to upload proof of vaccination via an online application contained within the MyNECC page. More directions and information will be forthcoming.
Please note that the attestation of vaccination status will not be accepted as written proof of an official record of full vaccination status.
If I received an exemption and/or reasonable accommodation related to certain COVID-19 vaccination requirements in the Fall of 2021 (e.g., clinical sites) do I now need to request a reasonable accommodation in accordance with the Employee Vaccination Policy?
Yes, any vaccine requirements and or exclusions for Fall 2021 must be requested again for Spring 2021.
Will my vaccination record be treated confidentially?
Vaccination records will be treated in the same confidential manner as other employee records and will be stored with the employee’s medical records.
What alternatives are available to me if I am unvaccinated?
For employees who have determined that they will not get vaccinated, the College has provided an extended notice period for those employees who submit a letter of resignation by January 3, 2022 that will enable them to remain employed through February 3, 2022.
Employees who are unable to be vaccinated may request a reasonable accommodation where the College will engage in an interactive process to determine if eligible for a reasonable accommodation, and if so, whether the requested accommodation is reasonable and does not create an undue hardship to the College or direct threat to the health or safety of others in the learning and working environment, if applicable.
In the event a reasonable accommodation is approved, employees may be subject to additional health and safety protocols and/or be excluded from campus and/or college activities including but not limited to travel for the protection of health or safety, as determined by the College in consideration of local, state, and/or or federal laws and public health guidance and/or mandates.
If I am unable to be fully vaccinated, how do I apply for a reasonable accommodation?
Requests for reasonable accommodation, including requests for a medical or religious exemption, will be considered consistent with applicable laws, legal guidance, and College policy.
Reasonable accommodation request forms can be viewed here. Information on how to submit your form will be forthcoming and the process will be ready to launch on the 29th of November. If you are seeking a reasonable accommodation, please consider gathering application documentation and be ready to submit your request as soon as possible, on or after the 29th, if you want your request to be considered in time by the January 3, 2022 deadline. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Please note that the individualized interactive process to determine reasonable accommodations is estimated to take a minimum of ten (10) business days following the receipt of satisfactory documentation supporting the employee’s eligibility for reasonable accommodation.
If I fail to provide proof that I have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, what will happen?
Employees who fail to submit verification of full vaccination by the January 3, 2022 deadline are not permitted to work either on campus or through telework or to be on campus for any purpose absent an approved reasonable accommodation.
As applicable, employees will be placed on leave without pay for no more than 14 calendar days pending submission of the required verification or receipt and approval of an appropriately documented reasonable accommodation.
If an employee has a reasonable accommodation request pending and/or has received an initial or subsequent dose of a vaccine but has not yet reached full vaccination status, the College will allow employees to use any accrued personal, vacation and/or compensatory time for the above period. Further, a College may extend the above period to enable an employee to reach full vaccination status if the employee has satisfactorily demonstrated that they have started the vaccination process.
Continued failure to submit required vaccination verification, absent an approved reasonable accommodation, shall be cause for discipline up to and including termination consistent with applicable collective bargaining agreements and/or employee handbook.
If I am not vaccinated and my employment is terminated, am I eligible to collect unemployment benefits?
The Commonwealth’s Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), not the College, makes determinations regarding unemployment benefits.
According to DUA’s website such determinations are made on a case by case basis but that employees should not expect to be able to collect unemployment if they are terminated for refusing the vaccine.
What is the definition of ‘fully vaccinated?’
The community colleges are following the CDC’s definition of full vaccination status, which currently provides that “[i]n general, people are considered fully vaccinated:
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.”
If the CDC changes their definition at any time, the revised definition will be applicable.
Employees should take immediate steps to schedule their vaccinations if they have not already done so and pay close attention to the type of vaccine that they receive and its timing schedule to ensure they are fully vaccinated by the January 3, 2022 deadline.
If I already had COVID, do I need to be vaccinated?
Yes. According to the CDC, you are not considered fully vaccinated if you have had COVID but have not been vaccinated.
How do I get vaccinated?
NECC will continue to host vaccination clinics on our campus. The next clinics will be held the first week of December. Kindly check the website for details.
Additional resources for accessing a COVID-19 vaccine include: