Category: COVID-19

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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Effective today, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OR-OSHA”) repealed the COVID-19 workplace safety rules that obligated most employers to require employees and visitors to wear face coverings and observe physical distancing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

Out with the Old, in with the New: Employers Should Expect Changes Under a Biden Administration

In case you missed it (did anyone miss it?), President Joe Biden was sworn into office yesterday.  Although workplace issues are hardly the only pressing item on the new President’s agenda, employers should be prepared for the rollout of additional employee protections under the Biden administration. Priorities That President Biden Has Already Announced Extending and … Continue Reading

EEOC Publishes Guidance Regarding COVID-19 Vaccines

*This article was originally published as a Legal Alert on December 17, 2020. With the COVID-19 vaccine becoming available to some and just around the corner for others, the question on many employers’ (and employees’) minds is whether they can (or should) mandate employees be vaccinated as a condition of employment. The Equal Employment Opportunity … Continue Reading

Oregon OSHA Issues Sample Materials for Required Employee Training and Releases Delayed Enforcement Memorandum

Oregon OSHA has just released a series of materials, including sample training materials, to help employers comply with OR-OSHA’s temporary workplace safety rules related to COVID-19.  We previously discussed the OR-OSHA rules here and here.  The new materials are summarized below. Sample Training Materials Employers must provide employees with COVID-19 information and training by December … Continue Reading

The COVID-19 Vaccine Is Coming: Can Employers Require Employees to Get Vaccinated?

With FDA approval of a COVID-19 vaccine possibly coming this week, employers are wondering whether they can require their employees to get vaccinated as a condition of employment.  For many employers, the answer is yes, subject to a few exceptions. As a general matter, employers are free to set the terms and conditions of employment, … Continue Reading

California Imposes More Stringent Requirements on Employers Relating to COVID-19

On November 20, 2020, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standard Board adopted temporary regulations regarding measures that employers must undertake in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.  On November 30, those regulations went into effect and are set to be in place for at least 180 days.  California employers must … Continue Reading

Oregon Issues New COVID-19 Guidance for Employers, Including Updated Face Covering Requirements

On the same day that Oregon’s statewide “freeze” went into effect, which we blogged about here, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) issued new face covering guidance and new guidance for employers.  That guidance is available here (face coverings) and here (employers). Face Covering Guidance Under the new face covering guidance, employees working in cubicles or … Continue Reading

Oregon Orders a Statewide “Freeze” Due to COVID-19 Surge, Closing Some Businesses, Restricting Bars and Restaurants to Takeout, and Further Limiting Social Gatherings

On November 13, 2020, after concluding that the previously proposed two-week “pause” did not go far enough, Governor Kate Brown announced a two-week statewide “freeze” aimed at slowing the rapid spread of COVID-19. The statewide freeze starts on Wednesday, November 18 and runs through December 2, 2020, meaning that the freeze will be in place … Continue Reading

OR-OSHA Publishes Model Infection Control Policy Required by New COVID- 19 Rules

On November 6, 2020, the Oregon Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“OR-OSHA”) published final temporary rules for workplace safety protections specific to COVID-19. Our alert about the new rules is available here. Among other requirements, the new rules require employers to adopt a COVID-19 Infection Notification policy for notifying exposed and affected employees of possible … Continue Reading

Take Action to Comply with OR-OSHA’s Final Temporary COVID-19 Safety Rules

On November 6, 2020, the Oregon Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“OR-OSHA”) published final temporary rules for workplace safety protections specific to COVID-19. The text of the final rules is available on OR-OSHA’s website. The effective date for the new rules is November 16, 2020, although the timeline for different requirements under the rules varies. … Continue Reading

New Requirements on Employers After Utah Declares State of Emergency Due to COVID-19

Utah residents were advised Sunday night of a state of emergency arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to a significant spike in cases and attendant strain on Utah hospital facilities and health care providers, Governor Gary Herbert issued Executive Order 2020-73 (the “Executive Order”), imposing new restrictions to curb the transmission of the COVID-19 … Continue Reading
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