Penn State Keeps Deadline for Employees to Get Vaccinated or Get an Exemption

Penn State Keeps Deadline for Employees to Get Vaccinated or Get an Exemption Penn State Keeps Deadline for Employees to Get Vaccinated or Get an Exemption The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty)

By Theodore Bunker | Wednesday, 01 December 2021 01:47 PM

Pennsylvania State University says it will comply with President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate despite a legal challenge.

"Many of you know (the mandate) is being challenged in the courts so we don’t know the outcome of that process yet, but we are planning around it prevailing, and so implementing that mandate," Penn State Provost Nicholas P. Jones said on Tuesday during the University Faculty Senate meeting, according to the Epoch Times.

"We’ve got to prepare because there’s not a lot of runway between now and January the 4th."

The school’s assistant director of University Public Relations, Wyatt DuBois, told the Epoch Times in an email that the federal contractor mandate covers nine of the school’s campuses along with the College of Medicine. He added that university employees who are covered by the federal contractor mandate must provide proof of vaccination to the school by January 4 or obtain an exemption, which could be medical- or religious-related, and agree to weekly testing for COVID-19.

DuBois also said that under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for employers with more than 100 workers, "disability/medical- and/or religious-related accommodations are not required for an employee to be put into the testing protocol. So, employees at these locations must receive their final vaccine dose by Jan. 4 or test weekly for COVID-19."

The school said on Monday that non-compliant faculty members must set up a meeting with an executive "to discuss their intent to be fully compliant. Further administrative actions will be discussed individually during the meeting, and will include expectations for progress toward compliance, potential for unpaid administrative leave, and other disciplinary steps up to, and potentially including, termination.”

Students who work for the school and do not take any steps towards compliance will not get scheduled to work until their individual case is reviewed. Technical service employees will receive a "five-workday period of education, including providing noncompliant employees with information regarding the benefits of vaccination and ways to obtain the vaccine."

After this, technical service employees will have a week "to demonstrate progress toward becoming fully vaccinated or they will be placed on a two-week unpaid suspension. Continued noncompliance following the suspension will result in termination of employment. Employees will be permitted to voluntarily resign, or if eligible, retire before facing involuntary termination of employment."