HOW TO REQUEST A COVID-19 VACCINE EXCEPTION

The University strongly recommends that all members of the community obtain the COVID-19 vaccine to protect the health and safety of our communities.

The University of California’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy requires that by the implementation date, September 9, 2021, which is two (2) weeks before the first day of instruction, all of those accessing the University’s locations and programs in person to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to limited exceptions and deferrals. Personnel who fail to participate by being vaccinated or obtaining an approved exception or deferral, will be barred from Physical Presence at University Facilities and Programs, and may be subject to disciplinary action.

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION APPLIES TO CAMPUS EMPLOYEES:  

All exception requests are initiated via the UCLA Symptom Monitoring System.  

The UCLA Symptom Monitoring System has been updated to facilitate the exception request process. Once the request has been submitted, it will be automatically sent for processing to Sedgwick Claims Management. The UC has partnered with Sedgwick for more than 30 years and Sedgwick will provide this service in collaboration with the Office of the President Risk Services and with UCLA Insurance and Risk Management. After initiating your exception request via the symptom monitoring survey you will be contacted by an “Exception Liaison” with Sedgwick. Your immediate response and cooperation will assist in expediting your request.  Additionally, UCLA Employee Disability Management Services and/or Employee and Labor Relations may contact you.

UCLA Occupational Health Services is the UCLA Location Vaccine Authority that oversees requests for medical exemptions, disability exceptions and pregnancy deferrals.

 

REQUESTS FOR EXECPTION TO THE COVID-19 VACCINE PROGRAM

Effective July 15, 2021 employees may request an exception to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement based on a medical exemption, disability exception, pregnancy deferral or religious objection.

 

Medical Exemption

To request an exception to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine due to a contraindication or precaution to the COVID-19 vaccination recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or by the vaccine’s manufacturer, employees must initiate the COVID-19 medical exemption request via the UCLA Symptom Monitoring System. Contraindications and Precautions are limited and do not include conditions that are unrelated to vaccines or injectable therapies, such as food, pet, venom, or environmental allergies, or allergies to oral medications. An employee may also request a medical exemption via the UCLA Symptom Monitoring System due to a COVID-19 Diagnosis or Treatment within the last 90 days.  After initiating your medical exemption request via the symptom monitoring survey an Exception Liaison from Sedgwick will contact you.

 

Disability Exception & Pregnancy Deferral

Employees may request an exception to the COVID-19 vaccine due to a physical or mental disorder or condition that limits a major life activity and any other condition recognized as a disability under applicable law including pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition where reasonable accommodation is medically advisable. For purposes of this policy, a person who is pregnant is not eligible on that basis alone for an Exception, but is eligible for a Deferral for the duration of pregnancy.

To request an exception to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine due to disability or for a pregnancy deferral, employees must initiate the COVID-19 Disability Exception or Pregnancy Deferral Request via the UCLA Symptom Monitoring System. After initiating your disability exception or pregnancy deferral request via the symptom monitoring survey, an Exception Liaison from Sedgwick will contact you.

For additional information about medical exemptions, disability exceptions or pregnancy deferrals, staff, faculty and other academic appointees, Residents and Post-Doctoral Scholars may contact [email protected].

 

Religious Belief Objection

Employees may seek a limited exception due to an objection to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine based on the employee’s sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance. Requests for exceptions must be initiated via the UCLA Symptom Monitoring System. A representative from Sedgwick and/or from Employee and Labor Relations will respond to requests for religious exceptions from staff employees and Academic Personnel will respond to requests for religious exceptions from Faculty and other academic appointees. After initiating your religious objection request via the symptom monitoring survey an Exception Liaison from Sedgwick will contact you.    

For additional information, Staff may contact [email protected]; and Faculty and other academic appointees may contact [email protected].

 

RESPONSE TO YOUR REQUEST FOR EXCEPTION OR DEFERRAL

Sedgwick will respond to your request for an exception and will provide you with updates on the status of your request. You may contact Sedgwick at [email protected]. If Sedgwick determines that your request requires further review, the request will be deferred and referred to Employee Disability Management Services (EDMS) for medical exemption, disability exception and pregnancy deferral requests. Religious objection requests will be referred to Employee & Labor Relations or to Academic Personnel for further handling. 

 

WHILE YOUR REQUEST IS PENDING and IF APPROVED

While your request for an exception or deferral to the COVID-19 vaccine is pending and if approved, as a condition of Physical Presence, you must observe Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions including:

  • Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), face masks, or other effective non-restrictive alternative such as a face shield with a drape (for those with a face mask exemption);
  • Complying with asymptomatic (surveillance) COVID-19 testing protocols as described at this link: UCLA Return to Campus 
  • Following symptomatic testing and quarantining protocols described in the link: Exposure management, quarantine and screening/testing

Additionally, as an unvaccinated individual, please observe the following non-pharmaceutical interventions that help slow the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. These include, for example:

  • Staying home, especially when you or a household or family member is sick;
  • Quarantining when you have been exposed to someone else with the illness;
  • Avoiding large gatherings;
  • Physical distancing to the extent possible;
  • Frequent handwashing and cleaning;
  • You may be subject to additional mitigation measures as LA County Department of Public Health and Cal/OSHA mandates evolve;
  • Additional accommodations may also need to be explored depending on your circumstances.

 

APPROVED EXCEPTION OR DEFERRAL REQUESTS

If your request for an exception to the COVID-19 Vaccine is approved, your status will be updated in the UCLA Symptom Monitoring System.  

 

REQUIRED FACE MASKS & COVERINGS and other HEALTH AND SAFETY INTERVENTIONS

*Note that face covering requirements are subject to change by by State and Local Departments of Public Health or by Cal/OSHA.*

While an exception request is pending and if approved, all unvaccinated employees must wear a face mask or approved PPE when indoors and in vehicles unless they are alone; while eating or drinking and are at least six feet apart and outside air supply to the area, if indoors has been maximized to the extent possible; or are otherwise exempt from wearing a mask due to a medical condition or while performing a task that would be unsafe to complete with a mask.

Employees who cannot wear face coverings due to a medical or mental health condition or disability, or who are deaf and hard of hearing or communicating with a deaf or hard of hearing person, an Accommodation must be an effective non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom if their condition or disability permits it. Please complete this form to Request COVID-19 Related Accommodation

Information about obtaining approved face masks and PPE is located at the EH&S PPE Store.

Acceptable types of face masks

Face masks must be worn over the nose and mouth. A cloth or disposable mask is acceptable in most situations. However, greater protection may be required under narrow circumstances, including in higher-risk health and patient care environments. For details, please refer to the the LACDPH’s face mask guidance and Cal/OSHA’s emergency temporary standards. Further information on face masks is available on the CDC’s face mask page.

Examples of acceptable face masks:

  • Two-ply woven fabric masks or face coverings
  • Surgical masks
  • Non-woven KN95 masks
  • N95 respirators

Examples of unacceptable face coverings:

  • Scarves
  • Balaclavas/ski masks
  • Single-layer fabric masks and neck gaiters
  • Bandanas
  • Turtleneck collars

 

ACCOMMODATION FOR EMPLOYEES WITH A DISABILITY or WHO ARE PREGNANT

In addition to implementing the above interventions, employees with a disability, chronic medical condition or who are pregnant may have a need to request other job accommodations. A request for accommodation triggers the interactive process. Disability Management Consultants with Employee Disability Management services will facilitate dialogue with you and your department about reasonable accommodations. In case of a disability, you may be required to provide medical documentation that confirms you are an individual with a disability and that describes your functional limitations. In case of a pregnancy, you may be required to provide documentation from your health care provider that describes the recommended accommodations. Information regarding the job accommodation process and an accommodation request form is available at this link: disability accommodations.

 

STUDENTS AND STUDENT EMPLOYEES

If you are a student or student employee, to make a request for an exception to the COVID-19 vaccine, please use the Survey Selector and select the student option.  Also, see Ashe Center Student Information on Exemptions.

 

UCLA HEALTH EMPLOYEES

As an employee of UCLA Health, an email was sent to you that included important information about the COVID-19 vaccination policy, vaccines and  information about how to request an exception.  In part, that email referred you to complete this questionnaire at "my UCLA health"  if you have a religious or medical reason to decline the vaccine.  If you are unvaccinated, you are required to continue wearing a mask at all times while on site unless you are eating or drinking -- which will then require that you maintain six feet of distance from others -- or you are outdoors. Guidance is available here for UCLA Health Employees.

  

DENIED EXCEPTION OR DEFERRAL REQUESTS

If a request for Exception or Deferral is denied, you will have 14 calendar days from the denial date to submit proof that you have received your first dose of a COVID19 vaccine including the date you received it. You will have a total of 8 weeks from the denial date to submit proof that you are Fully Vaccinated or you will be denied physical presence at the relevant University Location(s) or Program(s).

 

CONTACTS

Employee Disability Management Services is the UCLA Responsible Office that collaborates with Sedgwick Claims Management and facilitates vaccine exception requests based on medical, disability and pregnancy. This office additionally facilitates the job accommodation process for staff, faculty and other academic appointees, residents, post-doctoral scholars and student employees. Contact [email protected]

Employee Relations (Campus personnel) is the UCLA Responsible Office that collaborates with Sedgwick Claims Management to facilitate vaccine exception requests based on a religious objection for campus staff personnel. Contact [email protected].

Employee Relations (UCLA Health Employees) is the UCLA Responsible Office that collaborates with Sedgwick Claims Management to facilitate vaccine exception requests based on a religious objection for UCLA Health Employees. Contact [email protected].

Academic Personnel Office is the UCLA Responsible Office that collaborates with Sedgwick Claims Management to facilitate vaccine exception requests based on a religious objection for faculty and other academic appointees. Contact at [email protected].

UCLA Occupational Health Services is the UCLA Location Vaccine Authority that oversees requests for medical exemptions, disability exceptions and pregnancy deferrals. 

Ashe Student Health Center COVID-19 central information page and Contact Information.

UCLA Health Employee COVID-19 vaccine information hub. Contact at [email protected].

Sedgwick Claims Management can be contacted at [email protected] for information about the status of your exception request.

General questions related to COVID-19 at UCLA can be sent to [email protected].

 

RESOURCES

Policy: (COVID-19) Vaccination Program

FAQ's for Employees

UCLA COVID-19 and vaccine resources

Health & Safety - UCLA COVID-19

Building Ventilation Assessment Status

N95 and PPE Supply Store

CDC: COVID-19 Vaccines for People with Underlying Medical Conditions

People Who May be at Increased Risk for Severe Illness

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 Contraindications and Precautions