Faculty and Staff Vaccination Requirement

Holy Cross requires all faculty, staff and volunteers to be vaccinated and boosted, even those who have previously had COVID-19.  

Faculty and Staff Vaccination Requirements

Vaccination is highly recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The vaccines have proven safe and effective, according to public health experts and agencies around the world, including the CDC. This is a vital step for our community in order to have the kind of on-campus experience we all hope and strive for. 

The College is committed to having a fully vaccinated campus population, to ensure safe and healthy operations, and to allow us to continue to provide the best student experience. We continue to commit to this requirement by requiring the booster shot, which has been shown to significantly increase immunity against the Omicron variant. The updated bivalent COVID booster is strongly recommended by the College. Please follow this link to the CDC website to view information on booster eligibility. Please follow-up with your primary care physician with any further questions.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stated that employers may require COVID-19 vaccination, and proof of receipt of a vaccine, as a condition of employment. Holy Cross is implementing its requirement consistent with this EEOC guidance. 

Information for Employees

New employees must submit proof of vaccination through the HC Clear website.

The College will accept all vaccines that have received final or Emergency Use Authorization approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, as well as vaccines with an emergency use authorization from the World Health Organization. These vaccines currently include:

  • AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • Moderna
  • Novavax 
  • Pfizer/BionTech
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac

Medical and Religious Vaccine Accommodations

Requesting an Accommodation

Holy Cross maintains procedures for individuals to request accommodations with respect to the vaccination requirement on the basis of a documented disability or qualifying medical condition that contraindicates vaccination, because they are pregnant or nursing, or on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief that in each case may impact their ability to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If an employee does not qualify for an accommodation, the employee must get fully vaccinated.

Applicants and employees with disabilities or other qualifying medical condition, or who are pregnant or nursing, may request necessary reasonable accommodation with respect to the vaccination requirement pursuant to the College’s procedures for Reasonable Accommodations for Employees and Job Applicants with Disabilities and Employees Who Are Pregnant or Have Pregnancy Related Conditions (PDF) by completing the required forms and submitting required documentation. In addition, employees and applicants may request necessary reasonable accommodation for a sincerely held religious belief pursuant to the College’s Religious Accommodations Procedure (DOCX). 

Pregnancy and breastfeeding temporary Accommodations

The CDC notes that people who are pregnant are more likely to become severely ill with COVID-19 compared to people who are not pregnant. The CDC and FDA advise that you can get a COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant, and recommend that if you have questions, you should discuss them with your healthcare provider.  See CDC Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding for more information.

Accommodation Process

Accommodation requests will be processed as quickly as practicable but it may take up to 2 weeks (or longer) following submission of required documentation, depending on the specific circumstances of the request. All accommodation requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

In addition, the College is not required to waive essential functions of an employee's position. Further, accommodation requests that result in an undue hardship to the College or are not otherwise legally required may not be approved.

Please contact Merrilee Grenier, Assistant Director of Employee Relations, in Human Resources via email at covidvacciner@holycross.edu. Human Resources will then take appropriate steps to assist the employee.

Non Compliance with College Vaccine Policy

If an employee does not request or qualify for an accommodation and does not want to receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine, the following will be implemented:

  • The employee will be placed on an unpaid Leave of Absence (LOA) for 90 days and during this time, the employee will not be eligible for benefits except as required by law or policy. 

  • The employee may return to work once fully vaccinated, but must return prior to the end of the LOA.

  • If an employee is not fully vaccinated at the end of their 90-day LOA, it will be considered job abandonment and the College may terminate the employee.

Information for Supervisors 

Discussions about an employee’s vaccination status should not be a topic of conversation. If supervisors overhear these types of conversations, they should immediately end the conversation and speak to the employees involved individually to ensure that the conversation does not continue. If a supervisor has to speak to an employee more than once about this issue, the supervisor should contact the Employee Relations team in HR, Kristan Coffey via email at kcoffey@holycross.edu or Merrilee Grenier at mgrenier@holycross.edu to discuss the matter. 

Please review this training video for information about COVID-19 Health and Safety enforcement.