Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Mar 17, 2022

COVID-19 protocols decreasing but not gone yet

COVID-19Safety and Health 

California, Oregon, and Washington’s workplace mandates related to COVID-19 (coronavirus) are being whittled away but continue to evolve, so we’ve captured a high-level overview in three new Legal Guides, entitled “At a Glance: COVID-19 Compliance” in California, Oregon, and Washington.

Two recent developments in California and Oregon are of particular note:

  • In California, Executive Order N-5-22 extends the expiration date of Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to May 5, 2022, to give the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board time to evaluate and approve a new ETS in line with current public health guidance.
  • On March 14, 2022, Oregon OSHA announced that it’s in the process of updating its Rule Addressing COVID-19 Workplace Risks (OAR 437-001-0744), but in the meantime it will only enforce two provisions of those general workplace rules: (1) Allowing workers to voluntarily use facial coverings and requiring employers to provide facial coverings at no cost to workers; and (2) Covering the costs associated with any employer-required COVID-19 testing, including paying for employee time and travel. Oregon OSHA continues to recommend that employers follow the existing rules on maximizing ventilation, following public health recommendations for isolation and quarantine, and notifying workers within 24 hours after a workplace exposure. Unlike the general industry rules, most of the requirements for exceptional risk workplaces will remain in place.

Employers in Arizona, Idaho, and Montana don’t have statewide workplace mandates, although their public health agencies all recommend following the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on quarantine and isolation. In addition, Montana law (MCA 49-2-312) prohibits discriminating against workers on the basis of vaccination status.

Tips: In case you missed them, we encourage you to also review two past Vigilant articles, Q&A: Keep on top of COVID-19 protocols (1/20/22) and Q&A: Be aware of employment protections for COVID-19 absences (2/17/22). Still have questions? Contact your Vigilant Law Group employment attorney.

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.