Practical Guidance

Sample Covid-19 Vaccine-or-Test Policy

April 12, 2022
Sample Covid-19 Vaccine-or-Test Policy

[Bloomberg Law subscribers can access the annotated version of this policy template with expert commentary and analysis. Not a subscriber? Request a demo.]

Covid-19 Vaccine-or-Test Policy

In order to provide a safe work environment for employees and workplace visitors, [Employer] requires that all employees are either fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and provide proof of vaccination by [Date], or submit to weekly Covid-19 testing.

This policy outlines employee requirements, information on determining employees’ vaccination status and how this information will be collected, leave provided for vaccination appointments and recovery, information on reporting Covid-19 tests and removal of Covid-19-positive employees from the workplace, and disciplinary action for non-compliance.

[Download our report for practical guidance and analysis to help you navigate ongoing return-to-office challenges, including the latest policies and employer responsibilities.]

Employee Requirements

As stated previously, all employees must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and submit proof of vaccination by [Date], or submit proof of weekly Covid-19 testing, with some exceptions outlined in this policy.

Starting [Date], employees who are not fully vaccinated must wear face coverings while at the workplace or when occupying a vehicle with another person (or persons) for work purposes. Employee face coverings must completely cover the nose and mouth; be made of two or more layers of breathable, tightly woven fabric; and be secured to the head by ties, ear loops, or elastic bands.

Clear face coverings or face coverings with clear panels may be worn to facilitate communication with deaf or hard-of-hearing employees or customers who need the speaker’s mouth or facial expressions to understand speech or sign language.

Gaiters are also permissible if they have two layers of tightly woven, breathable fabric; fit snuggly over the mouth, nose, and chin without large gaps; and are solid pieces of material without slits, exhalation valves, holes, or punctures.

Policy Exceptions and Exclusions

Employees who are not fully vaccinated do not have to wear a face covering in the following situations:

  • When the employee is alone in a room with floor to ceiling windows and a closed door;
  • For a limited time, when an employee is eating or drinking at the workplace;
  • For a limited time, when an employee removes their mask for identification purposes in compliance with safety and security requirements; or
  • When an employee is wearing a facemask or respirator.

When face coverings are infeasible or create a greater hazard than not wearing a face covering, employees may also not wear a face covering. [Employer] will inform employees when this exception applies.

If any requirements in this policy interfere with an employee’s disability, medical condition, or sincerely held religious beliefs, the employees should contact [Department] to request an accommodation. [Department] will work with employees to make a determination.

Determination of Vaccination Status and Collection of Documentation

Employees will be considered fully vaccinated against Covid-19 two weeks after completing primary vaccination (e.g. one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine or the second dose of Moderna’s or Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine).

To qualify as fully vaccinated, the employee must be inoculated with a vaccine that is approved or authorized for emergency use by the FDA; listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO); or administered as part of a clinical trial at U.S. site, if the recipient is documented to have of primary vaccination with the “active” (not placebo) COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Employees should be aware that the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for use under the FDA’s emergency use authorization (EUA).

[Employer] will accept the following as proof of vaccination status:

  • The record of immunization from a health care provider or pharmacy;
  • A copy of the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card;
  • A copy of medical records documenting the vaccination;
  • A copy of immunization records from a public health, state, or tribal immunization information system; or
  • A copy of any other official documentation that contains the type of vaccine administered, date(s) of administration, and the name of the health care professional(s) or clinic site(s) administering the vaccine(s).

If an employee is not able to provide one of the documents above, a signed and dated employee attestation is acceptable. Please reach out to [Department] with questions or for more information on requirements for the signed attestation option.

Covid-19 Vaccination-Related Leave

[Employer] provides up to four hours of paid leave for employees to become fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Additionally, employees who experience side effects as a result of inoculation will be provided paid sick leave to recover.

Covid-19 Test Reporting and Procedures for Positive Employees

Employees who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and report at least once every seven days to the workplace where other individuals, coworkers, or customers are present must be tested once every seven days for Covid-19 and provide [Department] documentation of test results no later than the seventh day following their last provided test result.

Not fully vaccinated employees who do not report during a period of seven or more days to a workplace where other individuals are present must be tested for COVID-19 within seven days prior to returning to the workplace and provide [Department] with documentation of that test result upon return to the workplace.

Employees will be required to cover the cost of their Covid-19 testing and will not be compensated for testing appointments nor transportation to or from appointments, unless local law, state law, collective bargaining agreements, reasonable accommodations, or other related policies require [Employer] to cover these costs or compensate for this time.

Covid-19 test results will be considered valid only if the test meets the following requirements: it is cleared, approved, or authorized, including in an EUA by the FDA to detect current infection of Covid-19; it is administered in accordance with the authorized instructions; and it is not both self-administered and self-read unless observed by the employer or an authorized telehealth proctor.

All employees, regardless of vaccination status, must promptly notify [Employer/Department] if they test positive for or are diagnosed with Covid-19.

Employees who received a positive test result while not at the workplace must report their results as soon as possible prior to their next scheduled work time; employees who received a positive test result while at the workplace must notify [Employer/Department] as soon as safely possible while avoiding exposing any other individuals in the workplace.

Employees who test positive will be removed from the workplace immediately and will not return to work until one of the following requirements is met:

  • The employee received a negative result on a Covid-19 nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) following the positive result on an antigen test;
  • The employee meets the return-to-work criteria defined in the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) “Isolation Guidance;” or
  • The employee received a return-to-work recommendation from a licensed healthcare provider.

For more information on each of these return-to-work options, please reach out to [Department].

While on leave, employees may telework if they feel well enough to do so, but they may also choose not to work and use paid leave or unpaid leave.

Vaccination Information and Documentation

All proof of vaccination and Covid-19 testing documentation will be maintained as confidential medical records and be stored separate from employee personnel files.

Disciplinary Action for Non-Compliance

Employees who do not comply with this policy will be subject to [Employer] disciplinary practices and procedures. Non-compliance can result in employee discipline up to and including termination.