Photo of Laura Rosenbaum

Laura Rosenbaum is a partner in the Labor & Employment group. She represents clients in employment-related litigation in court and before administrative agencies. Her experience includes defending employers against a wide range of employment claims relating to employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation; medical leave laws; disability accommodation; wage & hour disputes; and workplace torts, as well as litigating non-competition agreements. Her practice also involves counseling employers on employment-related issues; conducting internal investigations; and preparing employee contracts, handbooks and policies.

Click here for Laura Rosenbaum's full bio.

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

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.

Employer Guidance

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

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently modified its guidance regarding leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). These changes pertain most significantly to the applicability of FFCRA leave to employees of health care providers and the intermittent use of FFCRA. The changes – which take effect on September 16, 2020 – are a response, in part, to a recent New York federal district court opinion invalidating some of the DOL’s prior guidance. (See here.)

Here’s what you need to know about the DOL’s new guidance:

Health Care Providers. The DOL narrowed the applicability of the FFCRA exemption for health care providers.  Under the new guidance, not all employees of health care providers are exempt from FFCRA. Only the following employees may be excluded: (1) licensed doctors of medicine, nurse practitioners, chiropractors, dentists, and others permitted to issue FMLA certifications under 29 C.F.R. 825.125; and (2) employees who provide diagnostic, preventive, or treatment services, or “other services that are integrated with and necessary to the provision of patient care and, if not provided, would adversely impact patient care.” This exemption includes, among others, nurses, medical technicians, and laboratory technicians. We recommend that health care providers seeking to exempt some employees from FFCRA talk to their legal counsel about whether the exemption applies.

The DOL encourages health care providers to minimize use of the exemption to the extent possible in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Employers may choose to allow some types of FFCRA leave (e.g., leave for employees with COVID-19 symptoms) and not others (e.g., childcare leave).
Continue Reading Department of Labor Narrows FFCRA Exemption for Health Care Providers and Affirms Guidance Regarding Intermittent Leave

The Oregon Health Authority recently updated the state’s COVID-19 guidance to expand the use of face coverings to public and private offices. Under the new rule, masks, face coverings, or face shields are required at all times for office employees, including in hallways, bathrooms, elevators, lobbies, break rooms, and other common spaces, unless employees

Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued an order this week making her earlier Mask, Face Shield, and Face Covering Guidance applicable statewide effective July 1, 2020.  Although the media has generally described the guidance as applying to all businesses, it is only required of the following covered businesses:

  • Grocery stores
  • Fitness-related organizations
  • Pharmacies
  • Public transit

The October 1, 2020 deadline for Oregon employers to update their non-discrimination policies is approaching.  In 2019, the Oregon Legislature passed the Workplace Fairness Act (the “Act”), which made significant changes to state law governing discrimination and harassment claims (quick recap here).  Among other provisions, the Act requires employers to adopt a written anti-discrimination

On March 18, 2020, Oregon issued temporary rules to help employees impacted by COVID-19. The Oregon Employment Department issued temporary rules expanding the availability of unemployment insurance to those impacted by COVID-19, while the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (“BOLI”) issued a temporary rule expanding the availability of the Oregon Family Leave Act (“OFLA”) to parents whose children are impacted by school or day-care closures.
Continue Reading Changes to Oregon Unemployment Insurance and Oregon Family Leave Act in Light of COVID-19

We continue to stay up to speed on workplace-related legal issues as we all navigate this challenging time. Many of you attended the webinar we put on today, Taming the COVID-19 Chaos: What Employers Need to Know.  The materials from that presentation are available here.  Please join us for another webinar next Wednesday, March