Category: Oregon

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Oregon Paid Leave—Now Is the Time to Think About Equivalent Plans

Oregon’s much anticipated Paid Leave program (formally called Oregon Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance) will be here soon. Employee and employer contributions to the state program start January 1, 2023, and employees can start applying for benefits beginning September 3, 2023. Almost all employers with employees in Oregon are required to participate in the … Continue Reading

Oregon Pay Equity Update: The Status of Hiring Bonuses

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Oregon legislature amended the definition of “compensation” in the Oregon Equal Pay Act to temporarily exempt hiring/signing and retention bonuses from the limitations imposed by the Act.  The temporary exemption, however, expires on September 28, 2022. This means that starting September 28, 2022, hiring/signing/retention bonuses will once … Continue Reading

Oregon Supreme Court Enforces Employment Arbitration Agreement

Oregon employers that require arbitration for employment-related disputes recently received some good news from the Oregon Supreme Court.  In Gist v. ZoAn Management, Inc., the Court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that his arbitration agreement was unenforceable because it limited the arbitrator’s authority to award him relief.  Instead, the Court ruled that the arbitration clause was … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Rules That a Temporary Impairment Can Qualify as a “Disability” Under the ADA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over much of the western United States (including Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho), ruled last week that an employee’s temporary impairment can qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The Ninth Circuit’s decision resolves an important … Continue Reading

Spring Cleaning for your Oregon Leave Law Policies

As Oregon’s April 2022 snowstorm becomes a distant memory, it’s time for some spring cleaning of employer leave policies. There are two recent changes that may require updates to your employee handbook.  Oregon Paid Sick Leave—Expanded to Account for Evacuation Orders, Poor Air Quality, and Heat.  BOLI recently adopted, effective April 1, 2022, a rule … Continue Reading

Oregon Health Authority Announces Sunset Date for Indoor Mask Requirements

On February 7, 2022, the Oregon Health Authority (“OHA”) announced that it would lift the general state-wide indoor mask requirement no later than March 31, 2022.  Per the OHA, the mask requirement for schools will also lifted by March 31, in coordination with the Oregon Department of Education (“ODE”). The OHA is basing its decision … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Vaccine and Mask Mandates – Comparison of Select States

On January 13, 2022, the United States Supreme Court issued a stay of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) COVID vaccine-or-test rule for large employers. Although the OSHA rule is effectively off the table, there are still a host of COVID rules that employers must comply with. Stoel Rives has created an interactive map … Continue Reading

Federal Court Allows OSHA Vaccine-Or-Test Rule To Move Forward

In a decision released late in the day on Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit lifted a stay against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) rule requiring employers with 100+ employees either to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or to submit to weekly COVID-19 testing and … 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

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

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

Oregon Pay Equity Update: Legislature Temporarily Amends Equal Pay Act to Allow for Hiring and Retention Bonuses and Vaccine Incentives

The Oregon legislature recently passed HB 2818, which made several notable (and needed!) amendments to Oregon’s Equal Pay Act, including: Temporarily exempting hiring bonuses offered to prospective employees and retention bonuses offered to existing employees from the definition of “compensation.”  This amendment is temporary and effective only until March 1, 2022. Permanently exempting vaccine incentives … Continue Reading

Oregon OSHA Issues Temporary Heat Rule

Yesterday, the Oregon Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“OR OSHA”) issued a temporary rule to address employees’ exposure to the hazards posed by temperatures in excess of 80 degrees. The rule applies whenever employees are required to work in conditions in which the “heat index temperature” (which combines air temperature with relative humidity to measure … 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

Oregon Legislature Further Limits Employee Non-Competition Agreements, Including Imposing a 12-Month Limit on Duration

Over the last several years, the Oregon Legislature has whittled away employers’ ability to enforce employee non-competition agreements (see our posts from 2007, 2015). Senate Bill 169, which Governor Brown signed into law on May 21, 2021, further limits an employer’s ability to impose non-competition obligations on employees. Effective starting January 1, 2022, the statute … 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

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
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