Wright State requires all employees to get vaccinated

A replica of the Wright Flyer hangs over the students at Wright State University library. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

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A replica of the Wright Flyer hangs over the students at Wright State University library. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Employees have until Jan. 4 to upload image of vaccine card

Wright State University announced Monday it is requiring all employees and student employees to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

All employees must confirm their vaccination status by Jan. 4, 2022, the university said in an email sent to Wright State faculty, staff and student employees.

Wright State is not requiring students, other than student employees, to be vaccinated against.

“Employees who are not fully vaccinated by the Jan. 4 deadline must be able to demonstrate a good faith effort to comply, such as having received a first dose of a vaccine, with a second dose scheduled,” the university said.

Wright State said the vaccine requirement for employees follows President Joe Biden’s recent executive order, which mandates workforce-wide COVID-19 vaccination for federal contractors and subcontractors, with exemptions for medical/disability and religious reasons only.

“Like every other research university nationally, Wright State must either accept these new contract provisions or discontinue its relationships with the federal government and its contractors,” the university said in its email. “The university’s relationship with the federal government, and especially with the Department of Defense and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, are critical to the success of our educational and research missions.”

Employees who wish to obtain a university-approved medical or religious exemption must do so by Jan. 4. Requests for medical or disability accommodations should be submitted to the Office of Disability Services by emailing ada@wright.edu, the university said.

University employees are being told they can confirm they are fully vaccinated by uploading an image of their vaccination card on a medical third-party website.

Wright State said it will provide “counseling and education” for employees who do not get vaccinated or do not confirm they are fully vaccinated.

“The university will address refusal to confirm vaccination status through existing, progressive disciplinary processes outlined in university policy and collective bargaining agreements,” it said.

Many universities across the nation are taking similar steps. Some are making a distinction between OSHA’s “emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 vaccination and testing,” and Biden’s executive order 14042, which requires covered federal contractors to mandate that their employees are fully vaccinated against COVID‑19.

A Wright State spokesman confirmed the university is aware of the distinction.

“We’re just responding to the EO (executive order) because the OSHA standard is stayed and wouldn’t apply to us as an Ohio public employee—Ohio has its own workplace safety program which hasn’t incorporated the OSHA rule,” said spokesman Seth Baugess.

“There are several pending legal challenges to President Biden’s executive erder (including at least one lawsuit filed by Ohio’s attorney general) that seek court orders halting enforcement of the executive order,” Wright State said “As of today, we are not aware that any court has granted such an order.”

Employees who believe that COVID-19 vaccination violates a sincerely held religious belief may request exemption using this exemption form (PDF).

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