Vigilant Blog

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

Nov 19, 2020

OREGON: Governor orders temporary “freeze” to control COVID-19

COVID-19Safety and Health 

Governor Kate Brown has issued Executive Order 20-65, limiting gatherings, recreation, and certain indoor and outdoor activities through December 2, 2020, to control the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The latest restrictions don’t replace any existing industry-specific or workplace guidance, requirements, or restrictions, so long as they’re consistent with the Order. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) continues to have the authority to issue and enforce guidance as necessary to carry out the Governor’s directives. OHA’s Statewide Freeze Guidance – General Guidance for Employers took effect on November 18, 2020. Likewise, companies must continue to implement and comply with Oregon OSHA’s Temporary Rule addressing COVID-19 workplace risks, which took effect on November 16, 2020. Workplace restrictions during the “freeze” period include:

  • Restaurants and Bars are closed for indoor and outdoor onsite consumption. Only drive through, take-out, and delivery services are permitted.
  • Certain Fitness and Recreational Activities are prohibited, which means that businesses such as gyms, museums, and zoos must be closed to the public.
  • Personal Services may continue in compliance with existing OHA guidance.
  • Retail, Grocery, and Pharmacy operations may continue, but are limited to 75 percent capacity.
  • Other Businesses and Offices, including non-profit entities, must facilitate telework to “the maximum extent possible.” Working in an office is prohibited if a work-at-home option is feasible in light of the duties of the position and adequate equipment and technology. If remote work isn’t an option, then you must designate an employee to establish, implement, and enforce physical distancing policies consistent with OHA guidance. See our Model Policy, Social Distancing Policy.

Tips: We’ll continue to update Vigilant members on statewide COVID-19 developments that impact the workplace. Keep an eye on the governor’s COVID-19 webpage. You should also monitor your local county COVID-19 webpage, since the governor has already stated that the temporary freeze will last an additional two weeks for Multnomah County and possibly other counties. Remember that all of the state’s other COVID-19 restrictions, requirements, and guidance still apply. You can find a complete collection of Vigilant’s articles on these restrictions, and our other COVID-19 related materials, on our COVID-19 resources page. Contact your Vigilant safety professional or Vigilant Law Group employment attorney with specific questions.

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.