Exemptions from Working on Campus

As Emory continues the important task of resuming our critical missions of on-campus research and teaching, most faculty and staff employees are required to work on campus beginning fall semester 2021. Each school or business unit will determine plans for returning to campus. Exemptions from working on campus may be requested following the policies and procedures below.

Requesting an exemption for yourself

If you are an Emory University faculty or staff member seeking an accommodation, such as an exemption from on-campus work because of your own disability, you should contact Emory’s Department of Accessibility Services (DAS) for assistance.  

If you wish to apply for a leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act because of your own serious health condition or the serious health condition of a family member, you should contact your departmental Human Resources for assistance.

Requesting an exemption due to the health status of a member of your household

If you are an Emory University faculty or staff member seeking an exemption from returning to campus because of the compromised health condition of a member of your household, please follow the procedures detailed below.

Policy Details

Faculty or staff employees who cannot be vaccinated or have a documented religious or medical exemption and live with a household member who also cannot be vaccinated or have a documented religious or medical exemption - and are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 - may submit a request for exemption from returning to campus for consideration by the leadership of their respective schools or business units, by submitting the Employee Household Member COVID-19 Medical Exemption Request Form.  Employees whose request for off-campus work is not granted may qualify for a leave of absence under the FMLA, and they are encouraged to pursue that option if they require a leave of absence.

Conditions

The CDC has determined that adults of any age with the following conditions are or might be at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity or severe obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Moderate to severe Asthma
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
  • Liver disease
  • Overweight
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

Procedures

The request for exemption begins by submitting an Employee Household Member COVID-19 Medical Exemption Request Form to the HIPAA-compliant line at 404-712-5205.

Pertinent supporting medical documentation must accompany all requests for accommodations. This documentation may include a letter from the household member’s medical provider, clearly outlining the following:

  • The relationship of the household member to the employee and the household member’s age.
  • The condition that places the household member at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  • The duration the condition is anticipated to continue.
  • The reason why the employee cannot be vaccinated.
  • The reason why the household member cannot be vaccinated.
  • The medical provider’s assessment of the household member’s risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

A clear outline of reasons why remote work would be the only effective accommodation to reduce the faculty or staff member’s risk of contracting COVID-19. Include reasons why other accommodation alternatives would not be effective (i.e. additional barriers and/or PPE, in-person/remote hybrid instruction, larger classroom, smaller number of enrolled students, etc.).

Any personal medical information contained within documentation submitted from the household member’s medical provider will remain confidential with Emory Human Resources (HR) and will not become part of any employment history, personnel records, nor will this information be shared with any school or business unit leader.

The final decision to grant the request for accommodation will be made in consultation with the employee’s leader, the Dean or Vice President (or their designee) and Human Resources Employee Relations.

Download policy