Employee COVID Requirement FAQ

This page contains information about the university's vaccination and masking requirements for faculty, librarians and staff members. Please visit fitchburgstate.edu/coronavirus for additional information about the university's response and planning.

Vaccine Requirement

MSCA faculty teaching in the Day contract are required to receive an FDA or WHO authorized COVID-19 vaccine by September 1, 2021, and a second dose, if required as part of the vaccine regimen they received, by October 1, 2021. MSCA Faculty not reporting to campus on or before September 1, 2021, due to authorized leave, shall be required to be fully vaccinated prior to returning to campus.

APA unit members are required to receive an FDA or WHO authorized COVID-19 vaccine by September 7, 2021, and a second dose, if required as part of the vaccine regimen they received, by October 5, 2021.

Non-unionized employees are required to receive an FDA or WHO authorized COVID-19 vaccine by September 7, 2021, and a second dose, if required as part of the vaccine regimen they received, by October 5, 2021.

AFSCME unit members are required to receive a dose of FDA approved or emergency use authorized COVID-19 vaccine by September 14, 2021, and a second dose, if required as part of the vaccine regimen they received, by October 12, 2021.

All employees who are not fully vaccinated (that is, two weeks have not passed since their final dose) are required to wear a mask in compliance with CDC guidelines and must submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.

Yes, employees may seek exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons by completing the university’s appropriate exemption form. Employees who seek an exemption due to a sincerely held religious belief will be required to provide a statement describing their religious belief and why the COVID-19 vaccine interferes with that belief. Employees who seek an exemption due to medical reasons will be required to provide an attestation from a licensed health care provider that describes the basis for the opinion that the employee cannot safely receive any COVID-19 vaccine.

Employees with a medical exemption who are seeking additional accommodation(s), shall utilize the university’s ADA process.  Employees with a religious exemption who are seeking additional accommodation(s), should contact the university’s Human Resources Office.

Employees are required to provide verification of vaccination consistent with university policy. Additionally, the university may verify employee’s vaccination status on the Massachusetts Immunization Information Database (MIIS) launched by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Immunization Division.

If a booster dose is recommended by the CDC or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, employees shall comply with the recommendation and get a COVID-19 booster.

Employees who receive an exemption from the mandatory vaccination requirement are required to wear masks at all times on campus and are subject to weekly mandatory testing. An employee with an approved exemption shall either (1) provide documentary proof of a negative test result obtained within the previous 48 hours, or (2) be tested on campus and report the result to the university’s Human Resources Office.

Employees who refuse vaccination without an exemption are not permitted to work and will be prohibited from accessing the university’s campus. Employees eligible for paid vacation leave may use accrued time, and once vacation time is exhausted they will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence and may be subject to discipline or other adverse action, consistent with an employee’s applicable labor agreement.

Employees are permitted to use their accrued sick leave for incapacitation or side effects due to a COVID-19 vaccination. The Massachusetts Emergency Paid Sick Leave, if available, may also cover leave to recover from a COVID-19 vaccination. Employees should consult the Human Resources Office for more information.

Campus Mask Requirements

Please note, notwithstanding a government order, the implementation of a mask requirement is at the discretion of the university, and subject to the terms of the agreements reached with employee unions. 

Yes. At universities that have a mask requirement, everyone, regardless of vaccination status, is required to wear a mask that complies with CDC guidelines over their mouth and nose in non-private spaces inside campus buildings, indoor facilities and university transportation. Should changed circumstances result in the expansion or reduction of the university’s mask requirement, employees will be notified five (5) days before the change.

Employees seeking an exemption from the mask requirement policy due to medical reasons shall seek accommodation through the University’s ADA process. Please contact the university’s Human Resources Office.

The university will have masks available for employees who have forgotten, lost or damaged their mask at locations across campus, and to the extent practicable, in academic departments and libraries.

  • Human Resources & Payroll Services, Sanders Administration Building
  • McKay Deans Suite, McKay Complex (C Wing)
  • Housing and Residential Services, Aubuchon Hall
  • Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library, Hammond Hall
  • Technology Help Desk, Conlon Hall

Faculty should work with their Department Chair, Library Director or Library Program Area Chair, as the case may be, if they need resources to overcome challenges relative to providing instruction while wearing a mask.

If an employee is not exempted from the mask requirement and refuses to comply with the requirement, they may be subject to progressive disciplinary action.

Faculty and staff are not required to enforce the mask-wearing mandate.

Unless a student has a documented accommodation for a mask exemption, students must wear masks in class and other public spaces, as described in the university’s mask wearing policy. If faculty or staff observes a student not in compliance with the policy, they are asked to inform the student that they are required to wear a mask.

If a student without a mask exemption refuses to wear a mask in class, the faculty member has the right to dismiss that student from the class and to instruct that student to leave the immediate area. If the student continually refuses to leave the teaching area while still refusing to wear a mask, then the faculty member shall have the right to dismiss the class and shall report the incident to the university’s student conduct officer.

A student's refusal to wear a mask shall be treated as a student conduct violation and addressed through the code of conduct policies and procedures.

Health and Safety

No. Employees who test positive for COVID-19, whether vaccinated or not, are required to isolate in accordance with CDC guidelines. Employees should contact the university’s Human Resources Office regarding leave.

If the employee is unable to work, they shall be required to use accrued sick, personal, or vacation leave, or take an unpaid leave of absence until they are able to return to the workplace. Eligible employees may have access to their respective sick leave bank, in accordance with the terms of respective labor agreements. Additionally, employees who test positive will be permitted to use COVID-19 temporary emergency paid sick leave, should such leave be available.

Yes, if practicable. Employees who test positive and are able to work while isolating. Employees should consult the Human Resources Office and their respective Supervisor, Department Chair, Library Director or Library Program Area Chair.

Yes. Asymptomatic testing shall be made available not more than one (1) time per week to employees free of charge. If you feel sick, do not come to campus. Consult your physician.

Employees should NOT report to work if they feel sick. Campus-based COVID-19 testing is for asymptomatic testing only. If you feel sick, consult your physician.

Yes. The campus will follow contact tracing protocols pursuant to CDC guidelines and in collaboration with local boards of health, where applicable.

Campus community members will be contacted if they have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 positive person on campus, in accordance with the campus contact tracing protocols.

Yes. The university will continue to share health and safety information with our campus community, including COVID-19 updates, positive cases and other information, such as the percentage of students and employees currently vaccinated for COVID-19.

The university will continue to require that all in-person campus events and meetings be conducted in a manner that takes into consideration the health and safety of attendees, while also making available Zoom or other web technologies, if practicable, to employees who wish to participate remotely. 

Yes. Office hours may be conducted remotely. However, this does not preclude faculty members from conducting office hours in-person and on campus.

Possibly. Employees are allowed to use accrued leave and may access the sick leave bank, in accordance with the terms of their respective labor agreement, to care for parents, children, and spouses with COVID-related illness. Employees should contact the university’s Human Resources Office for a full list of benefits.