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Executive Order 14042 FAQs

University complying with federal requirements; all employees required to be vaccinated

This message pertains to new federal requirements regarding Covid-19 vaccines. These requirements raise issues of significant national interest and may become subject to legal challenges. In this fluid and fast-moving environment, Auburn will continue to monitor and respond to relevant legal developments and will communicate updates if necessary.

President Biden issued Executive Order 14042 on Sept. 9, 2021, requiring that federal contractors provide adequate Covid-19 safeguards for their workforce. The Order and the subsequent Sept. 24 Guidance outline the broad applicability and scope of required workplace safety protocols for a federal contractor’s workforce. One of the workplace safety protocols included in the federal requirement is Covid-19 vaccination of covered contractor employees. As a public research institution, Auburn is among hundreds of U.S. universities considered to be federal contractors.

Read the full university statement and see the below FAQs for additional details.


Yes. On Sept. 9, President Biden issued Executive Order 14042 on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors. Thereafter, on Sept. 24, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force issued Guidance outlining the broad applicability and scope of required workplace safety protocols. 

After reviewing the Executive Order, federal guidance, and the University’s federal contracts, Auburn University has determined that to ensure full compliance with federal requirements, all university employees, including student employees, must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8. This adjustment to Auburn’s vaccine policy applies to all full-time and part-time employees, undergraduate and graduate student employees, and TES employees. The vaccine requirement applies regardless of (1) whether an employee works directly on a federal contract and (2) regardless of work location.

Guidelines detailing specific requirements under the Executive Order, including the Dec. 8 deadline, were not issued until Sept. 24. Since that time, the university has been assessing the implications of the federal government's guidance. As a result, the university instituted a revised vaccine policy as soon as it had all the necessary information.

A variety of remedies are potentially available to federal agencies in the event of non-compliance by a federal contractor, including cost disallowance, contract termination, and debarment. The loss of federal contracts would also negatively impact Auburn’s ability to fulfill its mission and adversely affect citizens in communities across Alabama.

Auburn has determined that the university must have a campus-wide policy applicable to all employees except those granted exemptions to ensure our institution’s compliance with the Executive Order.

The order applies to all graduate and undergraduate students who receive a paycheck through Auburn and students supported on graduate assistantships. The university will contact student employees who have not submitted a vaccination record to notify them of this new requirement. Students who are not employed by the university are not required to be vaccinated.

Per the federal requirements and the university policy, all employees must be fully vaccinated by midnight on Dec. 8. Those employees who are not already fully vaccinated will need to receive doses of the following vaccines by the following dates to be able to achieve full vaccination by the deadline:

Moderna         1st dose by 10/27/21            2nd dose by 11/24/21
Pfizer               1st dose by 11/03/21            2nd dose by 11/24/21
J&J                  1st dose by 11/24/21

Note: Individuals are considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two weeks after the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, which require four weeks or three weeks between doses, respectively. Nov. 24 is the last day individuals can get their final dose to meet the Dec. 8 deadline.

Yes. All international COVID-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) or any governing regulatory body are accepted.

Employees must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8. Failure to comply with this policy constitutes a Group I offense. Employees who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8 are subject to termination, in accordance with applicable university policies.

No. An authorized COVID-19 booster shot is not currently required under the university’s policy.

Details regarding verification procedures will be provided as soon as they are available. The federal guidance states that the following will be considered valid forms of verification:

  • a copy of the record of immunization from a health care provider or pharmacy;
  • a copy of the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card;
  • a copy of medical records documenting the vaccination;
  • a copy of immunization records from a public health or State immunization information system; or
  • a copy of any other official documentation verifying vaccination with information on the vaccine name, date(s) of administration, and the name of health care professional or clinic site administering vaccine
  • Employees may provide a digital copy of such records, including, for example, a digital photograph, scanned image, or PDF of such record.
The university’s verification process will not implicate HIPAA.
As of Oct. 21, among Auburn employees receiving university-sponsored benefits, more than 82% are either fully or partially vaccinated.

No. To ensure full compliance with the federal requirements, all university employees must be vaccinated, regardless of work location. 

Yes, any individuals employed by the university at the AUM campus and working for ACES or AAES must comply with the requirement to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8.

No. However, visitors are required to follow Auburn’s health and safety protocols, including mask wearing requirements.

Yes. All university employees must either be fully vaccinated or receive a medical or religious exemption. 

All three authorized COVID-19 vaccines are available at local pharmacies, hospitals, urgent care centers, and physicians’ offices at no charge. Employees can schedule an appointment through the Harrison School of Pharmacy or locate local providers at

To apply for a medical/disability or religious-related accommodation, use the forms found here. The federal guidance does not extend the Dec. 8 compliance deadline for individuals who apply for – but are not granted – a medical or religious exemption. Therefore, any employee wishing to apply for such an exemption is encouraged to submit a request as soon as possible to allow time for full vaccination by the deadline if an exemption is not granted.

In accordance with applicable law, exemption and accommodation requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and as part of that process, employees may be required to undergo additional COVID safety protocols.

Failure to comply with this policy constitutes a Group I offense. Employees who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8 are subject to termination in accordance with applicable university policies.

All vaccination providers must report COVID-19 vaccinations to the state health department’s immunization information system (IIS). Anyone who did not receive a vaccine card or has lost it should first contact their vaccination provider. If you can’t reach your provider, contact the State health department to request a copy of your vaccination card. The process may take one to two weeks.

Yes, all employees, students, and guests must comply with the university’s face covering policy.

For questions not answered here, please email For questions on the AUM campus, please email

Emergency Covid-19 Administrative Leave (ECAL)

Effective Aug. 17, Auburn will modify Emergency COVID-19 Administrative Leave (ECAL) and extend it through the end of the fall semester for eligible employees.

ECAL Time Limits

Please note that from Aug. 17 until the end of the semester:

  • An eligible employee can receive up to two weeks (80 hours) of ECAL. (The amount will be prorated for a part-time or student employee.)

  • An eligible employee’s available ECAL is contingent on how many hours they have used from Jan. 1 to Aug. 16, 2021. ECAL used from Jan. 1 to Aug. 16, 2021, will be deducted from the two weeks (80 hours).

ECAL Usage

If the eligible employee is unable to perform their work remotely and has ECAL available, it can be used for the following reasons:

  • The employee is required by the university to quarantine.

  • The employee is impacted by a school or daycare required quarantine due to the pandemic. (ECAL will not be applicable if childcare or on-site learning is available but the employee chooses not to participate.)

ECAL Documentation

Please note that additional documentation may be required:

  • Please use the Covid-19 Leave Form to complete the request, which must be approved by the supervisor.

  • Additional Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) documentation may also be required.

In Closing

  • The university reserves the right to terminate ECAL at any time.

  • Additional information about leave and the Covid-19 Leave Form will be available online by Aug. 17.

  • Email with any questions regarding Covid-19 leave.

The guidance and directives on this page reflect changes to university operations as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and at the university’s discretion will supersede any conflicting policies. This guidance is subject to change as the situation requires. Compliance with these terms – and any further updates published at – is required of all Auburn University faculty, staff, students, contractors and visitors. Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action and/or removal from campus. The campus community may report violations of public health directives.

Last updated: October 22, 2021