Working Through COVID-19
Our employees' safety and well-being is our campus' top priority. We are committed to being available during this time of uncertainty to support you.
Please email your appropriate OHR staff member and they will respond as quickly as possible. In addition, the HR main line (760) 750-4418 and email account (firstname.lastname@example.org) will continue to be monitored.
Information, Resources, and FAQ's
Per the new systemwide California State University Chancellor's Office policy, the COVID-19 vaccine will be required for all students, faculty, and staff this fall in order to access campus facilities or participate in in-person classes and activities. The policy is being implemented without waiting for any further action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration due to concerns with the Delta variant and reflects existing immunization requirements for measles, hepatitis, chickenpox, and others.
Faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated (two weeks after their final dose) or submit a medical or religious exemption by September 30, 2021. Employees represented by CSUEU will need to complete the certification process by October 27, 2021. Employees represented by APC will need to complete the certification process by December 22, 2021.
For additional information on vaccination resources and the interim policy, please visit https://www.calstate.edu/coronavirus/employee-resources/Pages/vaccination-resources.aspx.
- Who is required to be vaccinated?
The requirement covers all faculty and staff who intend to be on campus for any period. Vaccination will be required at CSUSM to access campus facilities or participate in in-person classes and activities.
- When is the deadline to get vaccinated?
Employees represented by CSUEU and CFA will need to complete the certification process by October 27, 2021. Employees represented by Teamsters will need to complete the certification process by November 26, 2021. Employees represented by APC will need to complete the certification process by December 22, 2021.
- Is the CSU's vaccine requirement legal?
Yes, the CSU is legally permitted to take steps to protect the health of its students, faculty, and staff. COVID-19 vaccines are one such step, and the CSU has decided to require them for those community members who wish to be on campus. The CSU is requiring the vaccines even while they are under emergency use authorization by the FDA, but will consider requests for medical and religious exemptions.
- Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Please visit the county's website to make an appointment or to find a convenient location.
- How do I provide proof of vaccination?
Employees may submit their vaccination documentation through the Employee Vaccine Certification Program (VCP).
- Are there exemptions to the vaccine requirement?
The vaccination requirement allows for employees to seek an exemption based on medical or religious grounds.
Medical Exemption: due to a medical (including mental health) condition for which an approved vaccine presents a significant risk of a serious adverse reaction. Any medical exemption must be verified by a certified or licensed healthcare professional and submitted to the university.
Religious Exemption: due to either (i) a person’s sincerely held religious belief, observance, or practice, which includes any traditionally recognized religion, or (ii) beliefs, observances, or practices which an individual sincerely holds and that occupy a place of importance in that individual’s life, comparable to that of traditionally recognized religions.
- How do I request an exemption?
Employees can submit an exemption request through the same form as part of the Employee Vaccine Certification Program (VCP). Employees will have the option to: attest and submit proof of vaccination, or request a medical exemption and upload a physician’s note, or request a religious exemption and attest to a sincerely held religious belief, or verify that employment status has been approved for 100% remote work for the fall semester (this will be confirmed with management and HR).
- If I am exempted, will I need to undergo regular COVID-19 testing?
Yes, faculty and staff with an approved medical or religious exemption on file with the university will be required to complete weekly COVID-19 testing. You will also be required to wear a mask.
- Where can I go to meet the weekly testing requirement?
- What if I tested offsite or had a recent positive test?
Employees who have tested at an off-campus site or who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days may submit a request for a COVID-19 testing exemption (documentation required).
- If I am currently on an approved leave, am I allowed to work remotely?
The regular return to work process remains in effect and the appropriate documentation is required before any work may resume.
- How does Senate Bill 95, Supplemental Paid Sick Leave apply to CSU?
Period of use: January 1 - September 30, 2021
Hours: 80 hours for full time and prorated for less than full time.
Eligibility: All employees (except rehire annuitants and in part for work study students).
For more information, visit the Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) website.
- How do I change previously reported time if I qualify for Supplemental Paid Sick Leave?
Employees must request to replace leave accruals used for reasons cited on the COVID Related Leaves website. Hours will not be automatically adjusted.
Employees must complete the appropriate form and email Melanie Hobbs at email@example.com to request an adjustment of hours.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you require an accessible version of the request form.
- Does the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or California Family Rights Act (CFRA) entitle
an employee to take leave to avoid contracting COVID-19?
No. FMLA and CFRA entitles employees to job-protected leave when they have a serious health condition or when they need leave to care for covered family members who have a serious health condition. Leave for the purposes of avoiding exposure to COVID-19 is not protected under the FMLA or CFRA.
- Who can I contact if I still need a leave of absence?
Please contact Tanya Obermark via email at email@example.com. Tanya will provide all necessary information and guide you through the process.
- Will my insurance cover me or my family if we need to be tested for COVID-19?
Employees and their dependents in the CalPERS health benefits program will not have any out-of-pocket payments for screening and testing of COVID-19. This applies to members in both the CalPERS HMO and PPO plans Please contact your primary care provider for instructions on how to be tested.
- How will this impact my service credit accruals or retirement? Will I need to change
my retirement date?
The CalPERS Regional Offices are currently closed, but members can still contact the CalPERS Center at (888) 225-7377 to schedule a phone appointment or ask questions. As long as employees remain in active pay status, they will continue to accrue service credit as usual. Any changes to the employee's time base will impact the service credit accrual rate.
Employees who are planning to have already submitted their retirement applications to CalPERS can move forward with their retirement as planned. Please contact HR with any additional questions via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I am feeling anxious and overwhelmed. What should I do?
CSUSM is committed to supporting our employees in navigating these challenges. We are deeply grateful to you for the work you are doing to help us continue to serve our students and maintain operations in a time of uncertainty and anxiety
Our Employee Assistance Program, Empathia, provides well-being and counseling support 24/7 and can be reached at 800-367-7474 or online at www.mylifematters.com (password: cougars).