As detailed in our previous E-Alert, Oregon’s face mask requirements continue to expand in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Mask, face covering, and face shield guidance now applies to businesses and members of the public visiting indoor spaces statewide, and all Oregonians must also wear a mask, face covering, or face shield in outdoor public spaces where at least six feet of physical distance from others outside of an individual’s household cannot be maintained. In addition, beginning July 24, 2020, face coverings are now required when exercising indoors, as well as outdoors when physical distance cannot be maintained, and children age 5 and up are also required to wear a mask, face shield, or face covering.
Oregon OSHA also recently issued an advisory memo detailing the requirements and best practices for Oregon businesses to enforce Oregon’s mask, face covering, and face shield requirements. The Oregon Health Authority similarly has issued FAQs.
Oregon businesses and those responsible for indoor spaces must politely notify customers and visitors about the public health requirement to wear a mask, face shield, or face covering if an employee or other representative of the employer encounters a customer or visitor without a mask, face shield, or face covering.
Other best practices for enforcing the mask, face covering, and face shield requirements include:
- Arranging to greet customers upon entry so the issue can be addressed as they enter the business;
- Keeping a supply of inexpensive disposable face coverings to offer to customers or guests who do not have one;
- Keeping a supply of face shields that can be loaned and sanitized between uses;
- Offering the same options to shop outside the business to individuals who choose not to wear a mask, face shield, or face covering as you would to someone with a disability or medical condition; and
- Making sure employees know that if an individual indicates they have difficulty hearing or understanding them with the mask or face covering, it is appropriate to step farther away, then lift the mask or face covering.
If the customer refuses to answer or states that they do not have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, face shield, or face covering, and the individual still refuses to wear a mask, face shield, or face covering, Oregon OSHA recommends politely telling the individual that the employer cannot serve them and that they need to leave the premises. Employees should not physically block or physically remove individuals who refuse to comply. Rather, they should follow the company’s normal procedures for removing an individual that refuses to leave the establishment when asked to do so under other circumstances.
Oregon requirements and recommendations are generally consistent with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (“CDC”) recommendation that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings and when around people who do not live in the same household, especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, the CDC does not recommend face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for face coverings since it is not known if face shields provide any benefit as source control to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles.
If you have questions about implementing this new guidance or how this impacts your business, please contact Heather Fossity or Amy Angel at 503-228-0500, or at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information about navigating coronavirus in the workplace, visit Barran Liebman’s COVID-19 resource page.
Electronic Alerts are written by Barran Liebman attorneys for their clients and friends. Alerts are not intended as legal advice, but as employment law, labor law, and employee benefits announcements. If this has been forwarded to you, and you would like to begin receiving Electronic Alerts directly, please email or call Traci Ray at 503-276-2115. Copyright ©2021 by Barran Liebman LLP.
Las Alertas electrónicas son escritas por abogados de Barran Liebman para sus clientes y amigos. Las Alertas no son proveídas como asesoramiento legal, sino solo como anuncios de leyes de empleo, leyes laborales y beneficios de empleo. Si esto ha sido remetido a usted y quisieras empezar a recibir las Alertas directamente, por favor mándanos un correo electrónico o llama a Traci Ray al 503-276-2115. Derechos de autor ©2021 por Barran Liebman LLP.