Workplace Guidance FAQs

Last Updated June 21, 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.

Campus Services

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

Normal on-campus operations have been greatly reduced and many campus buildings are closed. During this period TR&S mail and package delivery operations will continue, with a primary focus on servicing Yale’s essential on-campus operating areas. Review additional Operational Guidance.

Visit the ID Center website for additional information.

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

The safety of our passengers and team members is our top priority. Please see temporary changes to some of our schedules and services. Learn more on the Parking and Transportation Options page.

Manager Guidance

Managers are encouraged to review the Departmental Return to Work Checklist, to understand how Yale Departments, Institutes, Centers and Offices, and other units are planning for return to campus.

They are also advised to review What to Expect When You are Approved to Return to Campus, to understand what is required of their staff prior to returning. All the elements in the Return to Work checklist are requirements of the State of CT and Yale University.

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

University leadership is prepared to revise the health and safety program as public health conditions change.

Staff required to self-isolate due to COVID exposure or diagnosis should continue to work remotely, if able. If unable, individuals will continue to receive pay for business days within the quarantine period of up to 10 calendar days (7 calendar days with a negative test result). After the period of isolation ends, the employee will be required to return to campus, if the work can only be performed on campus. Should the absence continue for more than 10 days, use of accrued paid time off is permitted. Individuals in this situation may also apply for a leave of absence with The Standard (call 203-432-5552, press option #4).

Governor Lamont issued a travel advisory directing individuals returning to Connecticut from states with high rates of positive coronavirus rates to self-quarantine for a 10-day period. Please regularly check the State of Connecticut’s website for the list of updated states. We strongly encourage staff members to avoid traveling to any state included in the Governor’s travel advisory or any future additions to it. If a staff member who is required to work on campus chooses to travel to a restricted state, they will be expected to self-quarantine consistent with the Governor’s order and will have to use their allotment of paid time off (i.e. vacation, PTO) during this period. Health care staff and staff working in essential functions should check in with their supervisors for more information.

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.

Consult guidance on Events and Gatherings on Yale’s COVID-19 website.

Refer to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety’s website, where guidance has published on using breakrooms and lunchrooms. This guidance does not apply to academic and social events, meetings, gatherings, and activities.

As noted by President Salovey and Provost Strobel in their March 29, 2021 announcement to the Yale community, “the University has an initiative underway to evaluate future ways of working at Yale, to assess whether we could thoughtfully incorporate remote work into long-term work plans.” Within that context, the University is considering the terms of remote work including whether it will be permitted in certain departments on a long-term basis. More information and additional guidance will be available in the coming weeks. In the interim, staff members should assume they will be returning to on-campus work in accordance with communications provided through their local units (or department leadership) and the timeline set forth by President Salovey and Provost Strobel in their email.
 
You may also wish to discuss a flexible schedule, accommodation, and/or leave options with your HRG and manager.  If you are uncomfortable or unable to return to campus due to a medical reason, you may contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Access at equity@yale.edu.

Yale has established a plan to ensure that all students, faculty, researchers, and staff receive a Returning to Yale kit, which includes the necessary masks/face coverings, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant wipes. Please refer to the Obtaining Returning to Yale Kits page for additional information, including pickup locations.

Resuming On-Campus Operations

View the Return to Campus Update, distributed on May 19, for the latest information on returning to campus.

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

As outlined in the Return to Campus Update, sent on May 19, “by Labor Day and continuing until the winter term’s conclusion in December 2021, most staff should be working on campus at least three days per week.” Refer to the announcement for more specific guidance.

Visit the Parking page for updates on parking fees.

Deans and/or officers determine which staff are student-serving and faculty-supporting. As noted in the Return to Campus Update, sent on May 19, “This return is necessary to support in-classroom teaching and the record number of students returning to campus.” The announcement also noted that “Exception requests will require senior leadership review and approval.”

As noted by President Salovey and Provost Strobel in their March 29, 2021 announcement to the Yale community, “the University has an initiative underway to evaluate future ways of working at Yale, to assess whether we could thoughtfully incorporate remote work into long-term work plans.” Within that context, the University and Local 34 are discussing the terms of remote work including whether it will be permitted in certain departments on a long-term basis. More information and additional guidance will be available in the coming weeks. In the interim, staff members should assume they will be returning to on-campus work in accordance with communications provided through their local units (or department leadership) and the timeline set forth by President Salovey and Provost Strobel in their email.

University Buildings

Refer to Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) guidance on physical distancing in common areas, including partitions and barriers.

As we receive more information about the vaccination status of the community, we are likely to relax some restrictions such as physical distancing requirements. Therefore, we do not recommend changing office layouts at this time. Instead, we recommend that offices use the space and layouts they have in creative and flexible ways to accomplish six-foot distancing. Some offices may elect to use space in scheduled shifts, or ask workers to develop their space-sharing procedures (to maintain distancing) for this temporary period. A laptop may allow an individual to work in an empty conference room or other distanced found space. 

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. 

Yes. Although you are not authorized to resume working on campus, you may need to briefly be on campus to pick up something or check the mail for example. For this reason, badge access has not been restricted. However, if a visit is warranted, you must obtain authorization from your Manager/Lead Administrator, complete the Daily Health Check before your visit, and follow prevention guidance on Yale’s COVID-19 website.

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

Refer to the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) department’s website, where they have outlined established requirements and occupancy limits. For specific questions about your building, contact your building’s Facilities Area Manager/Superintendent.

Refer to the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) website for guidance on using water fountains/bottle filling stations.

Refer to Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) guidance on physical distancing in common areas, including restrooms.

The university is developing protocols for social distancing for common areas, including elevators, restrooms, and breakrooms. 

Visit the Office of Facilities website for additional information.

For more information, review the Office of Facilities Reopening Plan for University Buildings. For specific questions about your building, contact your building’s Facilities Area Manager/Superintendent.

Vaccination

University manangement will be aware of vaccination status at a level required to support the university’s health and safety program. The university will not communicate this information to others.

Supervisors should not inquire about the vaccination status of their supervisees unless required for approval of certain activities, such as travel. 
 
While we may wish to ask our colleagues whether they are vaccinated, we should respect the choice each individual may make as to whether or not to share this information. In all cases, we should not ask why an individual is not vaccinated.
Emerging data on vaccination indicate it is highly unlikely that a fully vaccinated, otherwise healthy individual will contract and transmit the virus to unvaccinated individuals. It is even more unlikely if the person is coming to a setting where the majority of others (coworkers) are vaccinated. The university’s vaccination requirements and the health and safety measures required of unvaccinated community members are intended to minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19 in the workplace. 
 
That said, some individuals, even if vaccinated, may feel more comfortable if they continue masking especially if they are interacting with groups where the vaccination status is unknown. Other standard health and safety practices, such as handwashing and physicial distancing are also appropriate measures to continue. 

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, for further guidance.

Yes. Beginning June 1, 2021, all faculty members, staff members, and postdoctoral and postgraduate trainees are required to inform the university of their vaccination status once they have received their vaccine. They should submit or confirm their COVID-19 vaccination status by going to the Yale Vaccine Portal.

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

Unvaccinated individuals may 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.

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.

Work Flexibility

Faculty may continue to use their campus offices during June and July and are requested to be back on campus in August to support the start of the academic year for their respective schools. Please refer to the Return to Campus Update, sent on May 19, for additional guidance.

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.”

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.

As mentioned in the Return to Campus Update, sent on May 19, the “expectation is that by Labor Day and continuing until the winter term’s conclusion in December 2021, most staff should be working on campus at least three days per week.” Please review the announcement for more specific information.