Category: COVID-19

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The Latest on President Biden’s Vaccination Mandates

As we blogged about here, on September 9, 2021, President Biden announced sweeping new vaccine requirements that will impact millions of employees across the country, including: A forthcoming rule that will require all business with 100 or more employees to require that employees be either fully vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 at least once a … Continue Reading

President Biden Announces New COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

To address the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and the recent Delta variant surge, President Biden announced yesterday that he will implement sweeping new requirements to increase vaccination rates across the country.  Among the changes: OSHA is developing a new emergency rule directing all businesses with 100 or more employees to require their employees be (1) vaccinated … Continue Reading

Oregon Health Authority Releases Mandatory Vaccine Rule and Religious/Medical Exemption Forms for Health Care Workers

Last week, Governor Kate Brown announced that the State of Oregon would require that all health care workers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they could prove they were entitled to a religious or medical exception.  The Oregon Health Authority (“OHA”) just released its administrative rule implementing the Governor’s announcement: effective October 18, 2021, health … Continue Reading

Washington to Reinstate Indoor Mask Mandate and Require Proof of Vaccination of Certain Workers

Mask Mandate Effective August 23, 2021, masks will once again be required in indoor public spaces in Washington, regardless of vaccination status, for everyone over the age of five.  Masks will not be required for vaccinated employees in office spaces that are not public-facing, but are still required for unvaccinated employees in such offices.  Masks … Continue Reading

Oregon to Require Vaccinations for All Health Care Workers

On August 19, 2021, just two weeks after announcing that all Oregon health care workers must either be fully vaccinated or test weekly for COVID-19, which we blogged about here, Governor Brown announced that vaccinations will be mandatory for health care workers starting October 18, 2021, assuming the vaccines have full FDA approval by then.  … Continue Reading

State of Oregon and Multnomah County Publish Details of Indoor Mask Requirements

As we previously wrote about, the State of Oregon and Multnomah County are each imposing new indoor mask requirements beginning today, August 13, 2021, in response to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic driven by the Delta variant. Yesterday, the State and County released details of their respective requirements (the “Rules”), which overlap in most respects and … Continue Reading

EUA Status Does Not Prohibit Employers from Requiring the COVID Vaccine; Seven Factors for Employers to Consider When Considering a Mandatory Vaccination Policy

While many employers initially were hesitant to institute mandatory COVID vaccinations, the recent surge driven by the Delta variant and announcements from large organizations—including the U.S. military, United Airlines, and major health care systems across the country—have caused many employers to revisit mandatory vaccination policies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and U.S. Department of Justice … Continue Reading

Governor Kate Brown Announces Renewed State-Wide Mask Mandate, Vaccination Requirement For Executive Branch Employees

Governor Kate Brown announced today that the State of Oregon would impose a state-wide mask mandate that applies to indoor spaces (effective date to be determined). It is unclear at this time whether employers will be required to mandate masks for employees and customers (or take other COVID-19-related precautions), and whether penalties will be imposed on … Continue Reading

Multnomah County Announces New Indoor Mask Requirement Effective August 13

Earlier this afternoon, Multnomah County announced that effective Friday August 13 all individuals age five and older in Multnomah County will be required to wear masks in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. A copy of the County’s announcement is available here. Based on the announcement, we expect that the mask mandate will not apply … Continue Reading

Oregon Health Care Employees Must Provide Proof of COVID Vaccination or Test Weekly

The latest COVID-19 surge driven by the Delta variant has caused many employers — not the least of which are health care employers — to revisit mandatory vaccine requirements for employees.  While many health care systems around the country already have mandated that their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, a … Continue Reading

Updated Mask Guidance from Oregon Health Authority

Following an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and in line with recent CDC guidance designed to curb the well-publicized spread of the Delta variant, the Oregon Health Authority (“OHA”) is again recommending that all individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated, wear masks in indoor public settings. The recommendation applies statewide, but it is not a … Continue Reading

OR-OSHA Repeals Face-Covering and Distancing Requirements for Most Employers

Effective today, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OR-OSHA”) repealed the COVID-19 workplace safety rules that obligated most employers to require employees and visitors to wear face coverings and observe physical distancing rules in the workplace.  However, most of OR-OSHAs rules remain in effect and the repeal of the face-covering and distancing requirements does … Continue Reading

Oregon OSHA Signals Removal of Face Covering and Social Distancing Requirements

Many Oregon employers and employees have been eagerly awaiting the day when we can return to mask-free social interactions and in-person work. On June 25, 2021, Governor Brown issued an Executive Order stating that effective June 30, 2021, Oregon is lifting its mask mandates, capacity limits, and social distancing guidelines. Oregon employers are also bound … Continue Reading

Oregon OSHA Announces Plans to Sunset Portions of Its COVID-19 Safety Rules Once Vaccination Target Is Reached

Late last week, Governor Kate Brown announced that the State of Oregon would largely remove its mask and social-distancing requirements once 70 percent of adult Oregonians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.  Following that announcement, the Oregon Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“OR-OSHA”) published its plans to repeal at least some … Continue Reading

Headline: EEOC Releases Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance

Just before we headed off for the holiday weekend, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released updated guidance related to the COVID-19 vaccine.  The guidance largely tracks earlier guidance and practices that many employers had already adopted.  Here are the highlights: The EEOC explicitly confirmed that federal anti-discrimination laws “do not prevent an employer … Continue Reading

No Mask, No Problem – Washington Department of Labor & Industries Issues New Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Workers

On May 21, 2021, the Washington Department of Labor & Industries (“L&I”) published new guidance regarding fully vaccinated workers.  The new guidance will help employers adjust masking policies to meet the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) guidelines adopted by Governor Jay Inslee. Under the new guidance, most Washington employers need not require … Continue Reading

Oregon Agencies Release New COVID-19 Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

On May 18, 2021, the Oregon Health Authority (“OHA”) published new COVID-19 guidance: “Interim Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals” and “Statewide Reopening Guidance – Masks, Face Coverings, Face Shields.”  Today, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OR-OSHA”) issued guidance for the workplace.  The new guidance from the agencies follows the Centers for Disease Control … Continue Reading

CDC Issues New Mask and Social Distancing Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

Hot off the proverbial presses: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) announced today that fully vaccinated individuals can resume normal life activities without wearing masks or socially distancing.  The CDC’s guidance is available here.  Although it is certainly good news, the CDC’s guidance comes with several cautionary notes: An individual is only “fully … Continue Reading

Minimum Wage Increase and Updated Workplace Posters

It’s that time of year to prepare for minimum wage increases and update workplace posters.  Beginning July 1, minimum wage rates throughout Oregon increase, to $14.00 for Portland Metro, $12.00 for Nonurban Counties, and $12.75 as Standard. (See here for descriptions of the areas in each category.)  BOLI’s 2021-2022 Commonly Required Postings in Oregon Poster, … Continue Reading

Final OR OSHA Infectious Disease Rule Is Now Effective

Effective May 4, 2021, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OR OSHA”) published its final rule requiring Oregon employers to continue to implement safety measures to protect against the spread of COVID-19.  The final rule is available on OR OSHA’s website.  Here is a summary of the permanent rule’s key provisions: No Sunset Date … Continue Reading

Changes to Washington’s Requirements Regarding Accommodation of Employees at High Risk of Contracting COVID-19

For the past year, Washington employers have been required to accommodate those employees characterized by the CDC as being at high risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19. Required accommodations can include allowing those employees to take extended leaves of absence if alternative work assignments, telework, remote work locations, or social distancing measures are … Continue Reading

Do Employees Still Have to Wear a Mask?

Please note: The information below is based on what we know today, and that rules and regulations are literally changing daily. Employers need to be nimble and flexible – check your local rules on a daily basis. As more and more people receive the COVID-19 vaccine, employees are starting to ask questions about mask requirements.  … Continue Reading

FFCRA Update: What the March 2021 Federal Stimulus Bill Means for COVID-19-Related Leave

On March 10, 2021, Congress passed its landmark $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, and President Biden signed the bill into law on March 11.  The bill does not require employers to continue offering Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) leave, but it extends the FFCRA’s payroll tax credit provisions for employers who choose to offer … Continue Reading

Oregon OSHA Proposes Final, Permanent COVID-19 Safety Rules for Oregon Employers

As many of you know, effective November 16, 2020, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OR OSHA”) adopted a comprehensive set of workplace safety rules designed to address the COVID-19 pandemic.  (More information about the rules is available here, here and here). These temporary rules remain in effect until May 4, 2021. Late last … Continue Reading
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