VSEA Executive Branch Units / State of Vermont – Side Letter Agreement On COVID Vaccinations

September 23, 2021

1.    An employee in who refuses to sign the form to attest that they are fully vaccinated and refuses to comply with regular COVID-19 testing or wear an appropriate face covering:

a.   Will be placed in an authorized off payroll status (AOFF) for a period not to exceed five (5) workdays to reconsider complying with the program’s requirements.  Authorized off payroll is unpaid leave.

b.   Any employee who fails to comply within the five (5) workday period, will be placed on an Unpaid Administrative Leave of Absence until such time as they decide to comply, or the mitigation measures are lifted.  An Unpaid Administrative Leave of Absence is unpaid leave and benefits (example: an employee would need to pay 100% of health insurance premiums).

2.    Falsification of an Attestation form will be considered gross misconduct and addressed through the normal disciplinary processes.

3.    Employees who are required to wear an appropriate face covering and fail to do so correctly will be subject to progressive discipline consisting of:

(a)  First Violation – Verbal reprimand

(b)  Second Violation – Written reprimand

(c)  Third Violation – Thirty (30) day unpaid disciplinary suspension

(d)  Fourth Violation – Possible dismissal   

Mask Violations will not be combined with other misconduct for determining appropriate disciplinary action.

4.    An employee is not waiving their right to file a grievance regarding the underlying facts that lead to one of the scenarios outlined in sections 1 through 3, above.

5.    Surveillance testing will be considered a “regular test” during the weeks it is being conducted at the applicable worksite.

6.    Employees who attest that they are fully vaccinated and who later contract COVID will, regardless of where contraction occurred, be paid for the applicable period of isolation/quarantine as identified by the Vermont Department of Health, without the need to use earned leave balances.

7.    Employees who elect to be vaccinated after September 15, 2021 and who suffer an adverse reaction to the vaccine will be paid for worktime missed up to their standard shift, without the need to use earned leave balances.  This applies to both doses of a two-shot vaccine and any boosters.

8.    This Agreement shall automatically terminate when the vaccine requirement and associated mitigation measures are lifted unless amended and/or extended by written mutual agreement of the Parties.

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