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
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 similar settings must wear face coverings at all times except when eating or drinking, even if the individual workstations are more than six feet apart. While an employee in a “private individual workspace” need not wear a face covering, the new guidance limits “private individual workspace” to a space that is used by one individual at a time and is enclosed on all sides with floor-to-ceiling walls and a closed door (in other words, a traditional, private office). This is a departure from prior guidance, where “private individual workspace” was not so strictly defined.
The general employer guidance largely reiterates existing guidance, including that Oregon employers must comply with the new OR-OSHA rules, which we blogged about here. The guidance also includes the following:…
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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…
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…
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…
Handling Political Activity and Expression in the Workplace
The 2020 presidential election, coupled with nationwide civil unrest and a global pandemic, is creating a lot of conversation in employees’ personal and professional lives. In a February 2020 survey, employees reported:
- 78% discuss politics at work;
- 47% said the discussion of politics negatively impacted their performance;
- 33% take in more political news at
Face Coverings Are Now Required for Employees of Select Oregon Businesses
Pursuant to Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidance, employers in certain businesses must require employees, contractors, and volunteers to wear a mask, face covering, or face shield, unless an accommodation for people with disabilities or other exemption applies. On June 11, 2020, the OHA issued updated guidance explaining that face coverings are not required when eating/drinking…
Ten Things to Consider In Getting Back to Work
As restrictions are easing, employers are planning for and starting to bring people back to work. In these extraordinary times, everyone recognizes that things will not be business as usual. Here is our “Top 10” checklist of things to consider as we move toward the “new normal.”
- Reluctant Returners. Many employees are eager to return
Staying Connected with Your Employees: Temporary Hours Reduction or Work Share Program?
Employers facing changes in their business or broader economic downturns must find ways to respond and weather the storm. Typically, this means cutting expenses, while maintaining their ability to operate. For many (if not most) businesses, payroll is the single largest expense item. And when business slows, employees are left with excess capacity and are…
California Court of Appeal Issues Warning to Employers with Unlimited Paid Time Off Policies
California is like every other state in that it does not require employers to provide employees with paid time off. Unlike in most other states, however, if an employer does provide employees with paid time off, then employees have a vested right in such time. What this means is that employers are prohibited from enacting “use it or lose it” paid time off policies. It also means that upon separation, California employers must pay out employees for any unused paid time off.
Due to these requirements, and to remain competitive with other employers, some employers have instituted “unlimited” paid time off policies whereby employees do not accrue any specific amount of vacation time but, rather, are free to take (or not take) as much (or as little) vacation as they want. The commonly held belief amongst most employers is that such unlimited paid time off policies benefit employees by providing them with flexible schedules while, at the same time, allowing employers to avoid the obligation to pay out any unused paid time off upon separation. In McPherson v. EF Intercultural Foundation (McPherson), the California Court of Appeal issued a shot across the bow to employers adhering to this commonly held belief by holding that the unlimited paid time off policy at issue did obligate the employer to pay out unused paid time off upon termination.
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