Immunization Policy: SARS-COV-2 (COVID 19)

Effective Date: July 2021 

I. General

The purpose of this policy is to protect the health and safety of the Mills community by outlining the Immunization Documentation Process for all Mills employees and students.  

II. Policy 

All Mills employees and students must complete the Mills College Immunization Documentation Process. To complete this process, individuals must submit documentation to the appropriate coordinating office listed below, indicating that they are fully immunized against SARS-COV-2 or must receive an approved exemption for medical, religious, or philosophical reasons (only students may request an exemption for philosophical reasons). Newly hired employees must be fully vaccinated before working on campus. If approved by Employee Services (HR) and their College Officer, they may work remotely until fully vaccinated.  

As needed, all employees may use COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (through 9/3/2021) or sick time in order to receive vaccinations. Employees may also use COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave or regular sick time if they experience symptoms from the vaccine that prevent them from working.  Employees who are eligible and wish to use COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave should reach out to benefits@mills.edu

Any employee subject to this policy who fails to participate in SARS-COV-2 Vaccination or provide an exemption request described in this policy may be removed from the workplace starting on the next calendar day without pay, consistent with applicable policies and collective bargaining agreements, until the employee becomes fully vaccinated or obtains an exemption from the SARS-COV-2 Vaccination.  

Students who do not comply with these requirements and attend or attempt to attend any in person events, including classes, will be adjudicated via the Student Code of Conduct.  Sanctions can include up to suspension or expulsion. 

Any residential member (faculty/staff/student) of the Mills community must be fully immunized against SARS-COV-2. There will not be exemptions made for medical, philosophical, or religious beliefs due to the significant health and safety risks to the residential community. Limited exceptions may be made for individuals who are not eligible to receive the vaccine due to age or medical restrictions and live in non-congregate (single family) housing. 

Any member of the community who receives an exemption will need to comply with additional requirements including masking, social distancing, and testing at the discretion of Mills College. After receiving the exemption form Mills will engage in an interactive process to determine how to ensure both the safety of the person requesting the exemption, others on the campus who are unable to be vaccinated, and whether a reasonable accommodation can be granted. A reasonable accommodation may include enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE), erecting barriers, moving locations, or other individualized accommodations. 

III. Definitions  

  1. SARS-COV-2: Means the coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 of the genus Betacoronavirus) that is the causative agent of COVID-19.
  2. Fully Vaccinated: Means two weeks past the date of the final shot of a COVID-19 authorized vaccination series approved by either the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US or the World Health Organization for those individuals vaccinated in other countries. 
  3. Medical Exemption: A medical exemption must meet the following criteria: (1) it must be completed by a licensed medical physician; (2) it must be specific to SARS-COV-2; (3) it must be signed by a medical professional certifying that the individual understands the medical risks of not receiving a SARS-COV-2 vaccination; and (4) it must be dated within 12 months from the date submitted to Mills. 
  4. Religious Exemption: A religious exemption may be provided for a sincerely held religious belief or practice. A religious exemption to the SARS-COV-2 vaccination must meet the following criteria: 
    1. A submission for review must provide a statement detailing the religious beliefs that prevent the student or staff member from receiving the required vaccination being requested. For students under the age of 18, the statement must include a signature from a parent or legal guardian. The form must be certified by the student or staff member, and be dated within 12 months of the date submitted to Mills. 
  1. Philosophical: Only students are eligible for a philosophical exemption to the SARS-COV-2 vaccination. A philosophical exemption may be provided for a sincerely held personal philosophical objection. Exemption requests must meet the following criteria: 
    1. A submission for review must provide a statement detailing the personal philosophical beliefs that prevent the student from receiving the required vaccination being requested. For students under the age of 18, the statement must include a signature from a parent or legal guardian. 
    2. The form must also be certified as follows: I have read and understand Mills policy on religious or philosophical accommodations. My religious or  philosophical beliefs or practices are sincerely held and support this request for this accommodation. I understand that the accommodation requested above may not be granted if it creates an undue hardship on Mills. I understand that Mills may need to obtain supporting documentation regarding my religious practice or philosophical beliefs to further evaluate my request for this accommodation. 
    3. The signature must be dated within 12 months of the date submitted to Mills.

IV. Eligibility

This policy applies to all employees, regardless of FTE level, temporary or permanent status, and contractors. This also applies to all enrolled students regardless of grade, level, or location. 

Students may access the medical and religious/philosophical exemption process.  Employees are eligible for the medical and religious exemption process. Employees are not eligible for the philosophical exemption process. 

V. Coordination 

Employee Services (HR) shall be responsible for maintaining this policy and process for employees. The Dean of Students shall be responsible for maintaining this policy and process for students.