Summer guidance for supervisors and employees about employee COVID-19 vaccine status
May 14, 2021

Below is the latest guidance for supervisors and employees about what can and cannot be asked regarding employee COVID-19 vaccination status. This information will be updated as we navigate this evolving guidance this summer. If you have any questions, please reach out to

What can supervisors do?

  • Supervisors may ask employees to voluntarily disclose their vaccination status or show proof of vaccination when it is relevant to determining the need for mask wearing in offices and meetings.

What can’t supervisors do?

  • Supervisors may not ask employees questions about why they are not vaccinated or any other questions about the employee’s personal health information.
    Do not ask questions like:
  • When are you getting vaccinated? 
  • Why haven’t you been vaccinated?
  • Do you have a health-related reason for not being vaccinated?
  • If you have been vaccinated, why aren’t you returning to work?

·         Supervisors may not base staffing plans on the vaccination status of their employees.

·         Supervisors may not require employees to return to in-person work solely because they are vaccinated.

·         Supervisors may not penalize or prevent an employee who is not vaccinated (or who chooses to not disclose their vaccination status) from participating in operations of the university.

·         Supervisors may not disclose the vaccination status of employees to other employees. However, they can generally reveal whether the entire unit is vaccinated.

What can employees do?

  • Employees may request release time from their supervisor for the purpose of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Employees are not required to share their vaccination status with their supervisor. If they do not want to share their status, they may need to wear a mask in the office or in meetings and/or may be required to participate in surveillance testing. 
  • Employees may voluntarily disclose their vaccination status to the campus contact tracing team as part of contact tracing efforts.
  • Employees may voluntarily provide proof of vaccination to Human Resource Services to be excused from mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing if they are teaching a face-to-face class or in a role in Housing, Dining, Building Services or the Child Development and Family Center for which testing is required or for the purpose of using Family First leave benefits for post-vaccination side effects.
  • Employees with a qualifying disability who believe they would benefit from support with performing essential job functions may request an ADA reasonable accommodation.

What can’t employees do?

  • Employees who are not vaccinated and do not have an ADA reasonable accommodation may not refuse to work on campus if requested by their supervisor to meet operational needs of their department.
  • Employees who are vaccinated may not refuse to work in the same space as employees who are not vaccinated.
  • Employees should not ask other employees their vaccination status or question, judge or discriminate based on vaccination status.

This information will be updated as we navigate this evolving guidance. Thank you for your service to the NIU community.

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