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Executive Department employee vaccine mandate frequently asked questions

Learn who must comply with the vaccine mandate and get answers to frequently asked questions about it.

Please note: The FAQs below are intended to provide general responses to likely questions that might arise as employees are notified of these new vaccination requirements. These responses will be updated, posted and shared to promote full understanding of these requirements as more specifics are confirmed.

Read the press release about the vaccine mandate

Table of Contents

Who is required to get the vaccine

Does this policy apply to me?

This policy applies to any person who performs services for a Commonwealth Executive Department Agency, including full-time, part-time, seasonal, intermittent, temporary, post retiree and contract employees, and interns.

I currently telework full-time in my job. Does this mandate apply to me?

Yes.

Providing proof of vaccination

I am fully vaccinated. Who do I contact to verify my status?

You can upload your vaccine information in employee self-service (HR/CMS) using the Health and Safety tile. 

I was vaccinated outside Massachusetts or at a VA clinic or hospital. Should I still upload my vaccination record, even though my records won’t exist in the MIIS database?

Yes. You should upload your card through employee self-service.

I want to report my vaccination status, but I also want to be sure this information is kept confidential.

All documentation related to an employee’s COVID-19 vaccinations will be maintained confidentially and will be held separate from an employee’s personnel file.

I lost my original vaccination card. Can I get a replacement?

Yes. There are a few options to request a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record. Visit mass.gov/MyVaxRecord to learn how. Please note, your vaccination card is not required to complete an online attestation form.

How will I know if my information was submitted successfully?

You can view the information uploaded to your record in employee self-service. 

Getting vaccinated

I need to find out where I can get a vaccine. Where can I get the vaccine near my home or workplace?

Vaccines are widely available in Massachusetts, including walk-up appointments. You can find vaccination locations near you on VaxFinder.mass.gov or contact your primary care provider.

My schedule may require me to take some time off to get a vaccine. Do I have to use my own time?

No. The Massachusetts Emergency Paid Sick Leave (MEPSL) program currently allows for employees to get time off as necessary to secure a vaccine. If you are using MEPSL time, please contact your HR office to request time off under MEPSL and in addition be sure to communicate with your supervisor regarding your planned time out of the office. If you have exhausted your MEPSL, you may utilize your sick time accruals. 

I know some co-workers who got vaccines and briefly felt ill afterwards. What if that happens in my case?

Some vaccine recipients do report some temporary after effects after receiving their shot. In the event a reaction requires any time off, this is also covered by the MEPSL.

Exemptions

I understand it is possible to secure an exemption for health or religious grounds. I believe I qualify. Who do I contact?

If you believe you qualify for an exemption, please review the Process for Requesting an Exemption from COVID-19 Vaccination document and complete the appropriate request form. Those requesting a medical exemption must also fill out a Medical Release Form: 

I don’t know who my Diversity Officer or ADA Coordinator is. How can I find out?

If you do not know who your Diversity Officer or ADA Coordinator is, you can find it here: Diversity Officer Listing and ADA Coordinator Listing

Non-compliance and/or resignations

What happens if I elect to not get the vaccine and I do not qualify for an exemption?

Non-compliance with Executive Order #595 will result in the following progressive discipline:

  • For managers, this process will begin with a five day suspension without pay. Continued non-compliance will then result in termination of employment.
  • For bargaining unit members, the progressive discipline track will begin with a five day suspension without pay. Continued non-compliance will then result in an additional ten day suspension without pay. Failure to comply after the ten day suspension will result in the termination of employment.
     

If I resign due to the vaccine mandate or if I am terminated for non-compliance, will I be eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits?

Although the Department of Unemployment Assistance decides all claims on a case-by-case basis, as a general matter, employees who are separated from employment for failing or refusing to comply with an employer’s requirement that employees maintain COVID-19 vaccination will not be eligible to collect unemployment benefits.

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