RISD maintains an existing fair and equitable ADA process by which faculty and staff may request reasonable accommodations to perform the essential functions of their job. Under this policy, any RISD faculty or staff member who is at elevated risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (or who shares a household with someone at high risk), as identified by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, may initiate a request for a job-related accommodation due to the potential threat of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.

While RISD reserves the right to determine if a COVID-related accommodation will be approved, the employee may also consider alternative leave options available to faculty and staff: taking leave without pay, applying for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, or taking paid time off. 

  • Employees at Elevated Risk

    Any faculty or staff member who is at high risk due to their own medical condition or disability, and believe they need an accommodation to perform essential job functions, should contact RISD Human Resources at Accommodation requests will follow the college’s standard policy and procedure.

  • Household Members at Elevated Risk

    Faculty or staff who do not have a disability, but who share a household with someone at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 according to the CDC, may request temporary accommodation by contacting RISD Human Resources.

    RISD’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including this temporary policy, is subject to change based on evolving guidelines from sources such as the CDC and on orders from federal, state, and local government, and may be amended or updated.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Any employee who is at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or who shares a household with someone at high risk, may submit a written request to RISD Human Resources for a job-related accommodation.

RISD is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment with a highly vaccinated population, but recognizes that medical conditions and/or religious objections may make inoculation unavailable to certain individuals. These individuals should contact RISD Human Resources to request accommodations. However, if an unvaccinated employee does not qualify for a medical or religious exemption, and holds a position that does not allow for an unvaccinated person to safely perform their job duties and no opportunities for a transfer to another open position exist, the employee may either be placed on leave without pay, apply for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, or take paid time off.

According to the CDC, the best way to protect unvaccinated family members at home is to get vaccinated yourself. Studies show that fully vaccinated people are less likely to spread the virus to others, even if they do get COVID-19.1 At over 85 percent of the community vaccinated, RISD is a highly vaccinated environment. Community members wanting to protect unvaccinated children at home can take additional precautions, such as wearing face coverings and practicing physical distancing. If you continue to be concerned you should contact RISD Human Resources.