Massachusetts Community College Vaccine Requirement — EMPLOYEE FAQ
Do I have to be vaccinated if I am employed by Berkshire 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 Jan. 3, 2021.
How do I provide my written proof of an official record of full vaccination?
Complete the Vaccine Status Confirmation form. You will need a digital copy (a photo, for instance) of your official vaccination
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
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 Jan. 3, 2022 that will enable them to remain employed through Feb. 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
Reasonable accommodation requests should be submitted to the Human Resources (HR)
Office. Complete the Employee Reasonable Accommodation form and sign this document
— which is then submitted to HR for review.
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 you are seeking a reasonable accommodation, please submit your request and necessary
documentation as soon as possible and without delay if you want your request to be
considered in time by the Jan. 3, 2022 deadline.
If I fail to provide proof that I have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, what
Employees who fail to submit verification of full vaccination by the Jan. 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
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
- 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 Jan. 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?
Find out where you can get vaccinated in and around the Berkshires.
Additional resources for accessing a COVID-19 vaccine include:
COVID Mobile Vaccine Program
More Vaccine Resources