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Oct. 4 deadline to verify COVID-19 vaccination status or request exemption approaching

A nursing student gives a COVID-19 vaccine.
WSU Nursing student Leanne Nixon gives a COVID-19 vaccination.

All employees, regardless of work location, must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18, or obtain a medical or religious exemption under Proclamation 21-14.1.  Beginning Oct. 19, employees who are not fully vaccinated and lack an approved exemption will not be able to engage in work for the university.

By Oct. 4, employees must complete the COVID-19 vaccination verification process or request a medical or religious exemption via Workday. Once that deadline passes the university will begin initiating the appropriate separation process for employees who have not taken action.

The Oct. 4 deadline also ensures employees who received either the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the one-shot Janssen/Johnson & Johnson have the necessary two weeks to be considered fully vaccinated by Oct. 18. This deadline also provides Human Resource Services additional time to review the hundreds of exemption requests already submitted by employees.   

Beginning Oct.19, employee’s ability to use accrued leaves or leave without pay depends on several variables, including the status of their verification process and job classification.

Civil service and administrative professional employees who are in the process of becoming fully vaccinated, or are awaiting a determination on their exemption or accommodation request, may be able to use accrued leave, their personal holiday or leave without pay in accordance with associated program rules, until a determination on their status is made. Those individuals in these job classification categories, who did not meet the requirements of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, who are awaiting a determination on their employment status may be able to use the same leaves in accordance with associated program rules. Details relating to faculty are still being reviewed.

WSU’s previous declaration process does not meet the state mandate. The vaccination verification requirement supersedes the previous vaccination declaration process in Workday.

Once a person is fully vaccinated they must enter their COVID-19 Vaccination Verification Request in Workday and show their supervisor a form of acceptable COVID-19 Vaccination documentation:

  • CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or photo of the card;
  • Documentation of vaccination from a health care provider or electronic health record;
  • State immunization information system record; or
  • For an individual who was vaccinated outside of the United States, a reasonable equivalent of any of the above.

Managers responsible for verifying the vaccination status of their employees, once viewed and verified the appropriate information, must complete the Request process through Workday. Employees are not to provide copies of supporting documents or upload them to Workday. Additionally, employees are not to ask their co-workers or student employees about their vaccination status. Supervisors and departments are not allowed to request or take copies of vaccination records or share vaccination information for any reason other than complying with state regulations.  

Employees may request an exemption in Workday for those with sincerely held religious beliefs or with documented medical reasons. In addition to requesting the exemption request in Workday, the employee must submit supporting information.  Medical exemption request forms are completed and emailed to Disability Services at hrs.disabilityservices@wsu.edu or faxed to 509-335-1259. Religious exemption request forms are emailed to hrs.exemptions@wsu.edu or faxed to 509-335-1259.

Request for exemptions are carefully evaluated and whether a request is approved or denied, employees will be contacted by HRS.

Religious and medical exemption requests go through a two-step process. If an exemption is approved, HRS will then engage the department to determine what if any accommodations may be considered. In order to engage in work for the university after Oct. 18, an unvaccinated employee will need to have both a granted exemption and accommodation. Whether an accommodation is granted will depend on a number of factors, including position responsibilities and the employee’s work environment.

The employee vaccination verification process is completely separate from the student process. Student-employees must complete the online employee vaccination verification process through Workday.  For religious exemptions, HRS coordinates with Cougar Health Services, so students only need to submit their Religious exemption request form to Cougar Health Services.  Student employees who are requesting medical exemptions must follow both the student and employee request processes separately.  

Students who fail to comply with the student vaccination process will have holds placed on their accounts, preventing them from enrolling in classes during the Spring 2022 semester. More information on the student process is found on Cougar Health Services’ website

Because of the complexity involved in the COVID-19 Vaccination Verification process, employees are asked to refer to the Human Resource Services’ website for the most up-to-date information.

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