Governor Kate Brown released guidance on Thursday, March 12, 2020 to help slow the transmission of COVID-19 in Oregon. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared this a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. Here’s what Oregon employers, and employers with employees in Oregon, need to know:
- Maintain at least 3 feet between employees in offices and at worksites.
- Implement staggered work schedules.
- Cancel or limit in-person meetings and use video conferencing.
- Limit all non-essential meetings of 20 or more employees (including activities outside of work hours).
- Limit all non-essential work travel.
- Limit all work-sponsored conferences, tradeshows, and other events.
What you can do.
- Establish flexible leave policies for employees who will need to stay home due to school, childcare, and event dismissals.
- Consider paid leave policies for people who have COVID-19 symptoms.
- Consider shift equivalent paid leave policies for hourly employees who have work hours decreased or cancelled due to implications of COVID-19.
- Implement extended telework arrangements where feasible.
What businesses can do.
- Post signage reminding people who are sick to stay home.
- Post signage encouraging handwashing.
- Limit crowding and implement social distancing whenever possible.
- Restaurants and the hospitality industry should also encourage social distancing and emphasize take-out ordering.
Other Employer Best Practices.
Employers can better prepare themselves and their employees by following these recommendations:
- Implement an “if you are ill, stay home” requirement for all employees
- Use only trusted websites for up-to-date information:
- Cross-train resources for critical functions (i.e., payroll)
- More guidance for businesses and employers is available from the CDC
Options for employees infected or quarantined for COVID-19.
Oregon has programs in place to help reduce the financial impact on individuals who are not able to work as a result of infection or mandatory quarantine.
- Paid Sick Leave: Employees are allowed to utilize accrued paid sick leave for any time off taken as a result of COVID-19.
- Unemployment Insurance: Unemployment benefits may be available for individuals whose employment is impacted by COVID-19. Employees should apply with the state.