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:

Social Distancing.

  • 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:

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.
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