The COVID-19 pandemic and associated closures have devastated businesses across Oregon. And now, OR-OSHA is moving forward with a new COVID-19 Standard that is intended to protect employees during the pandemic. Unfortunately, as drafted these rules will actually harm Oregon businesses and create a significant cost burden! OR-OSHA has committed to finalizing the rules by September 21st and needs to hear from impacted employers like, Tigard Chamber of Commerce TODAY before these rules are finalized.
A full summary of the draft rules can be found HERE. Key issues include:
- New sanitization requirements that mandate the cleaning of all high-touch surfaces and shared equipment each time before use by another employee or customer. It’s totally unreasonable to demand that a workplace sanitize every door handle and restroom stall between each individual use!
- A 3-foot social distancing requirement for all employer-provided transportation.
- A new 80+ hour paid leave mandate requiring ALL EMPLOYERS to provide paid leave (and benefits) whenever an employee is exposed to the COVID-19 virus, regardless of whether the exposure occurred at work or at a party or in their private residence. Note that this will be enforceable by BOLI, OR-OSHA and through a Private Right of Action against the employer!
Enough is enough! In June 2020, the Oregon legislature actually declined to move forward with this flawed concept, removing it from the omnibus COVID-19 policy package during the First Special Session. Now OR-OSHA is advancing this new mandate DESPITE clear legislative intent. The agency needs to hear from impacted stakeholders today before they finalize the temporary COVID-19 Standard.
You can make your voice heard, through the easy to use tool Voter Voice at this link. There is draft letter already crafted which you can use and simply fill in your contact info so it goes to your legislative representatives as well as OR-OSHA.
Take a few minutes and help your business and other businesses! Feel free to also share this email broadly.
See the Tigard Chamber’s letter to OR-OSHA and legislative reps here.