UW-Madison pausing employee vaccine mandate amid national court challenge

UW-Madison sign

MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Madison has paused its requirement that all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the wake of a nationwide injunction in a federal court case.

In a statement Tuesday, UW-Madison spokesperson Meredith McGlone said the pause, announced Monday, is effective immediately.

“We will continue to analyze information connected to the nationwide injunction and other related legal processes, as decisions in those cases may impact our campus’ ability to require the vaccine,” McGlone said. “Affected employees will be updated as more information becomes available. This pause will remain in effect until further notice.”

The university previously said all employees — including student employees — who were not fully vaccinated by January 4 and had not received a medical or religious exemption or an accommodation permitted by President Joe Biden’s executive order by that time would “face sanctions that will begin with education and will lead to discipline possibly culminating in termination.” The plan did not include a virus testing option for unvaccinated employees.

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Just over 96% of employees and just over 95% of students on campus are fully vaccinated, according to the university’s dashboard.