OSHA rescinds Covid rules addressing exceptional risk workplaces & employer-provided housing

Nicole Elgin
& Stacie Damazo
Barran Liebman LLP

Oregon OSHA issued a Workplace Advisory Memo, stating that it plans to rescind its rules governing COVID-19 Workplace Requirements for All Workplaces and Requirements for Employer-Provided Housing. To accomplish this rescission, Oregon OSHA has implemented a temporary rule that takes effect April 3, 2023, suspending the requirements of both rules, until they can be permanently rescinded.

While Oregon OSHA has incrementally removed many requirements related to COVID-19 for general workplaces and employer-provided housing, until April 3, certain requirements were still in effect for exceptional risk workplaces such as healthcare settings. This rule change means, among other things, that employees in healthcare settings are no longer required under Oregon OSHA’s COVID-19 rules to wear a facial covering. Employers that choose to still require employees to wear facial coverings in the workplace must provide those facial coverings at no cost to employees. In addition, Oregon OSHA intends to adopt a rule that will expressly allow employees to wear a facial covering if they so choose, unless doing so would create, or otherwise expose the employee to, a hazard.

Notwithstanding these rule changes, employers must continue to provide a safe and healthful workplace that is free from serious recognized hazards. Additionally, as we have seen over the past three years, COVID-19 rules and policies may continue to evolve. For these reasons, employers are encouraged to continue to closely monitor public health guidance and consult with counsel to ensure they are compliant with the latest guidance and developments in the law.

Click to access a PDF of this E-Alert.

For questions on compliance with COVID-19-related policy updates, decision-making, or advice, contact Nicole Elgin at (503) 276-2109 or [email protected], or Stacie Damazo at (503) 276-2121 or [email protected].

Disclaimer: Articles featured on Oregon Report are the creation, responsibility and opinion of the authoring individual or organization which is featured at the top of every article.