Workplace Guidance FAQs

Last Updated September 13, 2021

Yale University has developed protocols for the phased return to campus that are consistent with federal, state, and local public health guidance. Employees with specific questions should consult with their managers or the Employee Service Center at 203-432-5552. Managers are strongly encouraged to contact their HR Generalist to consult on their workforce planning, as there may be contractual and policy implications.

Guidance for Instructors

Faculty members with teaching responsibilities are expected to return to the classroom and teach in person. If you have further questions, please reach out to the dean of your school. For more information, please review FAQs on Guidance for Instructors.

The pandemic has been challenging for all of us, but it has posed unique difficulties for members of our community who are caregivers. To further support our caregivers through the coming months, we are extending and expanding the pandemic-time Crisis Care Assist program to support those who may face child or eldercare challenges due to COVID-19. The extended program, which was previously scheduled to conclude on September 3, provides an additional 10 days of back-up care for a total of 40 days that can be used through December 31, 2021. 

Instructors  who may face dependent care challenges  because of COVID-19  are encouraged to use this benefit, which  reimburses faculty, staff,  post-doctoral associates,  post-doctoral fellows, and students  at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences  for care provided by caregivers from the Bright Horizons Company or those in their personal networks. For more information, visit the  WorkLife Office website  or email  worklife@yale.edu.  

On July 30, we announced that all individuals—vaccinated or not—should wear masks in communal indoor spaces on campus. Fully vaccinated instructors (including graduate student instructors of record) may choose to remove their masks when they are teaching in the classroom under certain circumstances. Instructors may remove their masks only if they maintain a 12-foot distance from all others in the classroom while unmasked. Note that the 12-foot distancing rule will preclude instructors from choosing to unmask in some classrooms or when engaged in some modes of instruction. Yale’s mask guidance page will be updated in the coming days to include more specific guidance for instructors. Please consult this site as you make your decisions about masking. As a reminder, students are not permitted to remove their masks in the classroom.

Instructors who believe they are at exceptionally high risk for severe COVID-19 infection due to an underlying medical condition may feel that, even with the health and safety measures the university has in place, they need additional accommodations for their on-campus activities.    

In such cases, the instructor should complete and submit an application for accommodation to the Office for Institutional Equity and Accessibility (OIEA). OIEA will review the request and associated medical documentation and information that is provided. If OIEA concludes that the medical condition qualifies as a disability, OIEA will consult with the relevant dean, chair, or supervisor to determine if a workplace accommodation (such as remote work) is possible. 

Faculty with severely immunocompromised household members face additional challenges due to the risks and uncertainties of the pandemic. These individuals may receive medical advice not to travel outside of their homes. In such cases, the faculty member may make a request for work condition modifications to the dean or dean’s designee. The faculty member will be informed of how to provide documentation from their household member’s medical provider to the Yale Health Medical Review Committee, chaired by Dr. Jenna McCarthy. If the Medical Review Committee concludes that the faculty member must remain in the home and not come to campus, the dean or chair will decide if a work condition modification (such as remote work) is possible. If your school or unit has announced a separate procedure for household member-based requests, please follow the process outlined by your dean.

In cases when it is temporarily impossible for a faculty member to teach in person (for instance, due to a COVID-related quarantine, short-term caregiving duties, or a delay in receiving a visa), short-term remote teaching may be necessary. While changes that affect less than a single week of class do not require special approvals, those teaching classes remotely for longer than a week should seek approval in accordance with their school’s or unit’s policy.

If you experience cold or flu-like symptoms this semester, please do not come to campus. You should reach out to a health care provider for guidance and seek a symptomatic COVID-19 test. Please employ alternative short-term solutions for your course such as rescheduling your class or temporarily transitioning to hybrid teaching.   

Instructors are encouraged to be as accommodating as possible—to the extent pedagogically and practically feasible—with students who are required to miss class because they are experiencing cold symptoms or are in isolation. While instructors may make short-term individual arrangements for remote instruction for students who are in temporary quarantine or isolation, they may not approve such arrangements for a period of more than two weeks. Longer term absences must be approved by the student’s dean or the dean’s designee. Deans or their designees have the agency to determine reasonable school- or unit-specific arrangements. 

Yale continues to follow current CDC guidance for COVID-19 exposures. Vaccinated individuals who are exposed to someone with COVID-19 do not need to quarantine if they are asymptomatic. Close contacts of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to schedule asymptomatic tests, monitor symptoms, and wear a mask in all public spaces. It is not necessary to alter your instructional plans unless otherwise directed by your health care provider.

Faculty meetings and departmental gatherings for academic purposes may be conducted virtually, in person, or in a hybrid setting without seeking formal permission from the Health and Safety Leader. The setting should be determined by the business to be conducted in the meeting. Meetings held in person should follow the guidelines for in-person course instruction: they should be held in classroom or conference room settings on campus, all participants should be wearing a mask, food and drink are not permitted, and vaccine-exempted participants may attend in person only if they maintain social distance from others and are compliant with required testing. All other gatherings (including on- or off-campus social gatherings) must comply with the university’s events, gatherings, and meetings policy.

When a faculty member requests a medical accommodation to work remotely, the Office of Institutional Equity & Accessibility (OIEA) first determines whether the faculty member has a disability as defined by the ADA. If so, OIEA determines whether a reasonable accommodation is possible, applying a standard developed in consultation with medical experts. Under this standard, remote teaching requests ordinarily will not be considered a reasonable accommodation unless a faculty member has moderate to severe immunosuppressant conditions which require that they not leave their house for any reason. OIEA then notifies the dean of its assessment of disability and whether the faculty member meets the standard for remote work. The ultimate decision whether to approve remote work for faculty members rests with the dean. OIEA may work with the dean or a designate to explore whether other accommodations may be reasonable in a given situation. These may include, for example, classroom reassignment to a larger or better-ventilated space or other reasonable accommodations. The ADA does not require accommodation that would fundamentally alter the faculty member’s role or place an undue burden on the school.

Campus Services

Review helpful guidance on temporary changes in place to Yale’s operating processes, including supply orders and delivery of products.

Effective August 1, these services are expected to resume to normal service levels.

  • Departments that remain closed can continue to have their mail held until they fully return to campus. 
  • Any departments that have placed a hold on their mail, should contact Campus Mail to reinstate delivery.
  • Mail that has been held is also available for pickup by appointment at 344 Winchester Ave. Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Please contact Campus Mail at 203-436-5324 or campus.mail@yale.edu.

Mail and package delivery schedules may be modified based on capacity and specific unit needs. For additional guidance, refer to Procurement Supplier Guidelines.

No. Lab supplies should only be purchased for use directly in the lab or research space on campus. Please continue to order lab supplies through the standard buying process using SciQuest/Workday punchout and purchase orders. Please contact your sourcing leader for any exceptions.

No. The University does not pay for home phone and internet access (also see Policy 1109 Internet Access from Home).

Every effort should be made to utilize existing resources such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Skype, all of which can be used on your computer for calls. Newer phone plans offer unlimited calls and may be less money than your older monthly plan.

Per newly updated University Purchasing Card Processes, all new and replacement Purchasing Cards (lost, stolen, fraudulent expenses) will be sent directly from JP Morgan Chase to the cardholder’s Department Business Office. It is the responsibility of the Operations Manager/Lead Administrator to distribute all cards to the cardholders.

For all renewal cards (expired) JP Morgan will continue to send these cards to the Department Business Offices. It is the responsibility of the Operations Manager/Lead Administrator to distribute the cards to the cardholders.

JP Morgan will not send renewal cards to the cardholders’ home addresses.

Cardholders are not allowed to purchase tablets, iPads, or other laptop equipment with the University Purchasing Card. Cardholders may use their PCard to purchase essential supplies and books from Amazon or other similar websites. Each University Purchasing Card purchase requires an expense report to be submitted through Workday.

All in-person Treasury Services transactions are available currently. Hours are as follows:

  • 2 Whitney Avenue: Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • 333 Cedar Street: Monday – Thursday 7:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

There are also two drop boxes available for departments to place cash sales. On the Grove Street side of the 2 Whitney Avenue building there is an exterior drop box to the left of the glass doors. You may need to pull the handle a couple of times for the slot to open. Please insert one regular size envelope at a time. Additionally, 333 Cedar Street has an interior drop box. At the reception desk take a left and the drop box will be on the wall to the left. For questions, contact Treasury Services at agnes.siniscalchi@yale.edu.

Yes. Yale has arranged for students, faculty, and staff to be able to order discounted technology accessories and collaboration hardware through Connection. A personal credit card must be used to purchase these items and are not eligible for reimbursement by Yale. For more information, visit the Personal Purchases with an Authorized Reseller page. 

Visit the ID Center website for additional information.

For assistance with access control, please email 432.open@yale.edu.

Effective July 6, Yale Shuttle capacity will return to 100%, to expand transit services for the Yale community. Riders are required to be masked, according to state and federal health guidelines, but space dividers will be removed between passengers. Please review updated Safe Riding Protocols before utilizing our available routes. Learn more on the Parking and Transportation Options page.

Visit the Technology Purchases with an Authorized Reseller page for information about university-sponsored purchases.

To order discounted IT accessories and collaboration hardware for personal use, including while working remotely, visit the Personal Purchases with an Authorized Reseller page. These items may only be charged to a personal credit card and are not reimbursable from Yale. 

For Returning to Yale technology support and other resources, visit the Hybrid Technology Resources page.

Manager Guidance

Managers are encouraged to review What to Expect When You are Approved to Return to Campus, to understand what is required of their staff prior to returning. 

You should coordinate with your cognizant dean, director, or vice president (or their designee) to design work plans that best align with leadership guidance and your unit’s work needs.

Remote work arrangements are not dictated by vaccination status. The suitability of remote work is driven by operational needs and overarching University guidance, as outlined in the August 10 announcement on Modified Return to Campus Dates for Applicable Staff

In addition to compliance with masking requirements, unvaccinated individuals are required to maintain a 6’ distance from others indoors and outdoors. Also, please review Requirements for Physical Distancing on the Environmental Health & Safety website. 

Managers should work with their unit’s liaisons in the Department of Facilities and Environmental Health and Safety regarding distancing-related solutions.

COVID testing conducted as part of Yale’s mandatory testing program for unvaccinated staff is treated as hours worked/paid time. 

Personal Resources

Please refer to the Returning to Yale WorkLife Resources page for guidance on childcare resources. Also, visit the Wellness, Eldercare, Disabilities, and Other Resources page for additional information.

Yale’s Personal Wellness Signature Benefits provide eligible staff, faculty, post-doctoral associates, and their household members up to six free confidential counseling sessions—24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additional resources, including the Sanvello appTalkspace, and more are also available. Visit Yale’s Signature Benefits page for more information.

Additionally, Being Well at Yale is the university’s wellness program for all faculty and staff and offers a variety of resources to support the health and well-being of the Yale community. Visit Being Well at Yale for more information. 

Public Health & Safety

The University will provide up to 5 paid days off to staff members who are directed by a healthcare provider to quarantine or isolate provided that they are compliant with the University’s COVID vaccination program and are unable to perform their work remotely. If a staff member’s absence from work continues for more than 5 workdays, they will be required to use their accrued paid time off.  Following such absences, staff members will be returned to their pre-quarantine/isolation work arrangements. Please note that the 5 additional paid days off will be available for the remainder of calendar year 2021, only. Staff members may also apply for leaves of absence with The Standard (call 203-432-5552, press option #4).

If time off is needed to take care of a household member who needs to quarantine or isolate, sick or paid time off (PTO) may be used.

For guidance on quarantine after travel for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, visit the Yale Travel Policy page. If you are required to quarantine after personal travel, according to the Yale Travel Policy, you must consult with your manager who will determine if you will be allowed to work remotely during the period of quarantine. If remote work is not an option, you will be required to use paid time off (i.e. vacation, PTO).

If you believe you have had an exposure to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, you should stay home from work. You should immediately call Yale Health or your primary care provider if you are an Aetna member, and inform your supervisor. Please note: Standard sick time practices will apply for any non-COVID-19 related illnesses.

Effective July 6, vaccinated individuals are not expected to physically distance themselves from others. Unvaccinated individuals are required to maintain 6’ distance from others indoors and outdoors. Review additional guidance on the COVID-19 Vaccination Program page.

Our public health experts continuously monitor the state of the pandemic, including the nature of COVID-19 variants. The reinstitution of indoor mask requirement and intensification of our required testing protocols resulted from their recommendations.

Starting the week of August 16, you will see staff, faculty, and student vaccination rates on Yale’s COVID-19 data webpage.

If a staff member has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, they should contact their healthcare provider for further guidance on recommendations to isolate or quarantine. If their healthcare provider deems it necessary for them to isolate, refer to additional guidance on the use of paid days off and/or PTO

If a staff member or their dependent is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they should call the Campus COVID Resource Line (CCRL) to receive medical guidance. If a staff member or their dependent is asymptomatic and has questions about a potential COVID-19 exposure, they should call their healthcare provider. If their healthcare provider deems it necessary for them to isolate, refer to additional guidance on the use of COVID days and/or PTO

For information regarding safe practices during lunch and breaks, please review Requirements for Physical Distancing on the Environmental Health & Safety website.

All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks in indoor campus spaces unless you are alone in a segregated space, such as a private office or seated in a partitioned cubicle. Individuals who are not vaccinated must wear a mask at all times and maintain six feet physical distance from others. Please review Requirements for Physical Distancing on the Environmental Health & Safety website for additional information.

Visit the Screening Program for Testing and Contact Tracing page for information about free testing. For additional information, including answers to frequently asked questions, visit the COVID-19 Testing FAQs page.

While supplies last, Yale will provide individuals with a Returning to Yale kit, which includes the necessary masks/face coverings, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant wipes. Lead Administrators and their designees will also be ordering disposable 3-ply masks for staff who may have forgotten their own or who may need them. Please refer to the Obtaining Returning to Yale Kits page for additional information, including pickup locations.

Resuming On-Campus Operations

Your manager will discuss the details of your return to campus with you, and will share information on what to expect when you return to campus.

It is also recommended that you review the materials posted on Yale’s COVID-19 website, particularly Health and Safety Guidelines and your commitment adhere to them, as outlined in the Statement of Expectations

For more information, please refer to the Modified Return to Campus Dates for Applicable Staff announcement, shared on August 10.

Visit the Parking page for updates, including a list of Parking FAQs.

We are slowing the number of staff returning to campus in the first fall semester month to optimize our health measures and, more specifically, to support the capacity of the testing and contact tracing teams. These teams, in turn, are supporting students, faculty, and staff carrying out Yale’s in-person educational, research, and clinical missions.

Deans, directors, and vice presidents (or their designees) have the flexibility to adjust work schedules for the balance of the 2021 calendar year; however, as previously stated, we recommend that 100% remote work be limited.

For more information, please refer to the Modified Return to Campus Dates for Applicable Staff announcement, shared on August 10.

University Buildings

As of June 1, 2021, there is no longer a requirement for employees to apply for authorization to be on campus. However, when on campus, employees must swipe their badge to enter assigned campus buildings.

Information about building modifications, including HVAC systems, may be found on the Facilities website, within the FAQs.

University leaders—deans and officers—are developing return to campus plans that fit the needs of their individual schools or staff units. Largely or fully remote work will be limited in scope and duration. Therefore, the impact on office or work spaces cannot yet be determined. 

Visit the Office of Facilities website for the latest information on the use of elevators.

For more information, review Office of Facilities Returning to Yale Information. For specific questions about your building, contact your building’s Facilities Area Manager/Superintendent.

Vaccination

Yes. All faculty members, staff members, and postdoctoral and postgraduate trainees who have not yet submitted their vaccination documentation or requested an exemption must fulfill this requirement immediately. The deadline for completing this process was August 1. Visit the Yale Vaccine Portal to submit or confirm your COVID-19 vaccination status. 

Beginning the week of August 16, as outlined in the Modified Return to Campus Dates for Applicable Staff announcement, sent on August 10, unvaccinated staff and faculty who have not received a vaccination exemption will face progressive disciplinary action.

Yes. Faculty, staff, and postdoctoral/postgraduate trainees must be exempted or fully vaccinated. Visit Yale’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program page for more information.

As mentioned in President Peter Salovey and Provost Scott Strobel’s announcement, distributed on May 14, faculty, staff, and postdoctoral and postgraduate trainees may apply for exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical reasons or based on religious or other strongly held personal belief. Exemption forms are available on the Yale Employee Vaccine Portal

Staff members who experience an adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine and are unable to work may receive up to two (2) paid COVID days. Any additional absences may be covered by sick leave benefits or other benefits that would otherwise apply to instances of employee illness. Staff who experience symptoms beyond those considered to be common side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine should contact their healthcare provider for medical advice.

Effective August 16, 2021, unvaccinated individuals will have specific health and safety requirements, such as routine testing and mask-wearing; and may not be able to participate in certain activities such as university-sponsored travel. For further guidance, view the Staff Update on Vaccination and Compliance Policy announcement, sent on August 5, 2021. Unvaccinated staff who come to campus and fail to meet asymptomatic testing requirements will also be subject to a progressive disciplinary process beginning with notice of noncompliance and proceeding to unpaid leave following continued noncompliance.

The university will consider whether additional education is appropriate and may take disciplinary action if non-compliance is not corrected. 

Vaccination status is stored in the COVID-19 Health and Safety Database. The information will be treated as confidential and accessed by or provided to management only on a need-to-know basis to support the university’s health and safety program.

Faculty, staff, students, and postdoctoral and postgraduate trainees are required to be vaccinated or have an exemption at all campus locations.

Vaccination information gathered by the university in support of the health and safety program is not considered Protected Health Information (PHI) and is not subject to HIPAA.

University Management, including supervisors, will be informed if employees are unvaccinated because they will require release time for weekly asymptomatic testing and must refrain from university-sponsored travel. Managers will not know and should not ask why their employees are exempt from the vaccination requirement. Managers should not share an individual’s vaccination status with others. 

View all requirements for unvaccinated individuals on Yale’s COVID-19 website.

While there is no policy that restricts you from asking your colleagues whether they are vaccinated, you should respect the choice each individual may make as to whether or not to share this information.

Our union colleagues support the goal of the university’s vaccine program—to enhance the safety of the campus workplace by maximizing vaccination among the members of our community.

The university currently requires vaccination of campus visitors, as outlined on the Visitor Policy page on Yale’s COVID-19 website.

Yale will distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated members of the community only in ways necessary to support the university’s health and safety program. 

The university will continue to rely on the guidance of state and national agencies, as well as its public health experts, to assess COVID-19 risk and to determine whether to change campus alert levels and/or health and safety measures.

Individuals who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms or who test positive for COVID-19, whether vaccinated or not, should isolate, contact their health care provider, follow their health care provider’s instructions, and notify their supervisor. The university requires all individuals who test positive for COVID-19 to isolate for 10 days. For more information, visit the Isolation and Quarantine page on Yale’s COVID-19 website.

Yes. All faculty, staff, students, and postdoctoral and postgraduate trainees are required to be fully vaccinated or have an exemption before returning to campus. Review President Peter Salovey and Provost Scott Strobel’s announcement, distributed on May 14, as well as the New Masking and Distancing Requirements for July announcement, sent on June 29, for further guidance.

Individuals will not be informed by the university of their colleagues’ or co-workers’ vaccination status. The university has put in place health and safety protections to allow vaccinated and exempt unvaccinated Yale community members to work and study together on campus. 

Work Flexibility

As mentioned in the Return to Campus Update, sent on May 19, leaders should “be flexible in developing transitional work arrangements for staff who will be providing care for children or other dependents during the summer and at the start of the academic year.” Those with school-aged children are encouraged to explore Yale’s childcare benefits including back-up care coverage. For more information, visit the Returning to Yale WorkLife Resources page.

As shared in the Return to Campus Update, sent on May 19, child and eldercare support has been expanded. Additionally, leaders are encouraged “to be flexible in developing transitional work arrangements for staff who will be providing care for children or other dependents during the summer and at the start of the academic year.”

If there is any circumstance in which you believe that you are at high risk if exposed to COVID-19, you should consult with your physician and, if you are seeking workplace accommodations, the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs (OEOP) Accommodation Program for Faculty and Staff within the Office for Institutional Equity and Access. For instructors who are at exceptionally high risk in the face of COVID-19, please review FAQs on Guidance for Instructors.

Employees are encouraged to use existing technology equipment while working a hybrid schedule. If additional technology equipment is needed, employees are encouraged to speak with their managers. Due to global supply chain issues, the purchase of additional computers is discouraged. However, it may be possible to procure a second monitor, depending on individual needs, after returning to the office. Lead Administrators and Unit Leaders should refer to the Technology Purchases with an Authorized Reseller page for guidance on how to place these purchases.

Your unit leader or manager should be in touch with staff-specific plans in the coming days. Thank you for your patience as they formulate action plans based on this new guidance.

If a staff member is experiencing symptoms that could be perceived as COVID-related, the staff member should promptly contact their healthcare provider for further guidance. If the staff member anticipates that they will be late to or absent from work, they must notify their supervisor as soon as possible. The suitability of remote work under these circumstances is work unit- and job-dependent and falls within the discretion of the manager. If the option of remote work is not possible, employees may use their sick time. 

On-campus work schedules are determined at the unit level and are dictated by operational needs and university guidance, as outlined in the August 10 announcement on Modified Return to Campus Dates for Applicable Staff. Managers and staff are encouraged to communicate regularly with one another and be as flexible as possible.

If they are exhibiting symptoms that could be perceived as COVID-related, staff should contact the Campus COVID Resource Line (CCRL) for further guidance. If the staff member anticipates that they will be late to or absent from work, they must notify their supervisor as soon as possible. The suitability of remote work under these circumstances is work unit- and job-dependent and falls within the discretion of the manager. 

For more information, please refer to the Modified Return to Campus Dates for Applicable Staff announcement, shared on August 10.