In the wake of the CDC’s guidance, many employers and businesses were left confused about how to navigate these changing rules and conflicts between state and federal guidance. Today, the Oregon Health Authority updated its Statewide Guidance on Masks and issued Interim Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals to align with the CDC’s guidance.
Here’s what businesses need to know:
In its updated guidance, OHA requires all businesses, employers, and faith institutions to continue to apply and enforce mask and physical distancing requirements unless it:
- Has a policy for checking for proof of vaccination status of individuals;
- Requests proof of vaccination status from each individual; and
- Reviews each individual’s proof of vaccination prior to entry or admission.
OHA defines proof of vaccination to mean “documentation provided by a tribal, federal, state or local government, or a health care provider, that includes an individual’s name, date of birth, type of COVID-19 vaccination given, date or dates given, depending on whether it is a one-dose or two-dose vaccine, and the name/location of the health care provider or site where the vaccine was administered. Documentation may include, but is not limited to, COVID-19 vaccination record card, or a copy or digital picture of the vaccination record card.”
It is recommended that businesses that choose to exempt vaccinated individuals from the mask and physical distancing requirements do not keep copies showing proof of vaccination status. Rather, if documentation is kept, it should be limited to a “yes” or “no” determination, the name of the individual verified, and who performed the verification. Similarly, employers should invite employees to submit proof of vaccination if they wish to be exempt from mask and physical distancing requirements but need not keep a copy of proof of vaccination. Employers should avoid asking employees why they are not vaccinated to avoid making a disability-related inquiry.
OHA’s updated guidance allowing businesses, employers, and faith institutions to loosen restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals does not apply in:
- any setting where the owner or operator continues to require masks, face coverings, or face shields in accordance with the Statewide Mask, Face Coverings, Face Shields Guidance;
- health care settings;
- adult jails and correctional facilities;
- youth detention and correctional facilities;
- shelters and transitional housing;
- K-12 schools (fully vaccinated individuals must comply with Ready School, Safe Learners (RSSL) guidance face covering requirements);
- Planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States;
- U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and bus stations.
Oregon OSHA also released its own advisory memorandum to align with OHA’s updated guidance. Consistent with OHA’s guidance, Oregon OSHA provides that “an employer who requests and reviews verification of vaccination may permit fully vaccinated individuals with such proof of vaccination to go without a mask, face covering, or face shield, and does not need to enforce physical distancing requirements for such individuals.” Verification is key here—Oregon OSHA notes that an employer must continue to enforce the physical distancing and facial covering requirements for individuals who claim to be vaccinated but refuse to provide verification of vaccination status.
Other than this “vaccination exemption,” all OR OSHA requirements imposed by its permanent rule on COVID-19 safety measures for workers remain in place. More information on OR OSHA’s permanent rule can be found here.
For questions, contact Natalie Pattison or Amy Angel at 503-228-0500, or at or .
NOW, NEXT, & BEYOND: Barran Liebman’s E-Alert series covering the COVID-19 pandemic, helping employers identify what they need to do now, next, and beyond to stay in compliance, be responsive to employees, and best position their business for the future.
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.