News Update

University of California on-campus students, faculty, staff required to get flu shots by Sunday; union filed challenge

All on-campus University of California students, faculty and staff must have a flu shot by Sunday under a revised executive order by UC President Michael Drake.

The directive was initially issued on July 31 by former President Janet Napolitano but Drake updated it on Sept. 29.

According to the executive order, “Effective November 1, 2020, all students, faculty and staff living, learning or working on premises at any UC location must receive a flu vaccine, unless they receive an approved medical exemption or disability or religious accommodation, as described below or in Attachment A.”

There is a process for requests for disability or religious accommodations “may be made by any person subject to this order and will be adjudicated through the interactive process consistent with existing location policies and procedures.”

The order also encouraged universal flu vaccination by Saturday: “Each campus shall strongly encourage universal vaccination for all students, faculty, staff and their families by October 31, 2020.”

The Teamsters Union Local 2010 filed two legal actions challenging the university’s order, which the union claims violates workers’ rights. An Alameda Superior Court judge will hold a hearing on Nov. 4 on another legal action. In the meantime, UC is barred from taking any action against employees who do not get a flu shot.

In a statement, the union laid out its position: “Our team has proposed that the vaccination policy contain a personal exemption with appropriate safety measures, an exception for those working from home, that the vaccination should be provided on work time and free of charge and other protections for our members.”