Accommodations & Leaves

As outlined in the fall 2021 repopulation guidance, colleges and units will determine on-campus expectations and the appropriate level of ongoing flexible or remote work for their employees.

Consistent with current policies and to the extent possible, the university, and its representatives, will provide assistance to those who have medical or religious concerns with the expectations set forth for their position.


Face Coverings

If an employee is unable to wear a required face covering due to medical, religious or other protected reason, they can follow the appropriate process for requesting an ADA reasonable accommodation or a religious accommodation (University Policy 6.13.8, Religious Accommodation).


Medical and Disability Accommodations

Faculty and staff who are asked to return to work on-site who have an underlying medical condition, or those who are pregnant, may submit an ADA Reasonable Accommodation request, including accommodation requests for PPE, related to returning to the workplace by contacting Medical Leaves Administration at wcds@cornell.edu or calling 607-255-1177.

For guidance on the ADA Reasonable Accommodation process and other support mechanisms available to employees, please see Disability Accommodations.

Refer to CDC guidance for the list of People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness.


Employees Caring for Family Members

Employees who regularly care for a family member who is at higher risk for severe complications from COVID-19 may be eligible for time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Further, staff members may be covered by NYS Paid Family Leave. More information on various leave programs is available here or by contacting Medical Leaves Administration at 607-255-1177 to determine the appropriate leave for an employee’s situation and needs.


Voluntary Reduction in Hours

An employee may request a voluntary short-term reduction in hours (appointment) to help them meet their personal needs.

Staff Time Off: If a staff member is not available, or not willing, to work as required, they may use their leave accrual balances in accordance with standard vacation and HAP policies after consultation with their supervisor. A staff member may also request an unpaid leave as permitted by policy/contract if:

  • the employee does not qualify for a workplace accommodation
  • the situation doesn’t qualify for an approved paid leave
  • a remote work arrangement is not feasible