Oregon Employers: Masks Still Required at Places of Employment

By Clay Creps

By now, most of you are aware of the guidance issued by the CDC, which has rescinded the mask requirement for fully vaccinated individuals in public settings, both outdoors and indoors, with limited exceptions. You are also likely aware that Governor Brown has also rescinded the mask requirement in a similar fashion. You may be tempted to think that this means masks are no longer required at work. This, however, is not the case.

You will recall that the Oregon OSHA issued temporary regulations requiring a number of safety measures because of COVID. Read our prior articles about how this rule covered workplaces in general, and “exceptional risk” workplaces. Chief among the requirements of this rule was the requirement to wear masks at work essentially at all times except when in a closed space and alone. The Oregon OSHA regulations became permanent at the beginning of May 2021. These regulations retain the mask requirements of the temporary rule for employers. The rule specifically states that it will remain in effect and will not be repealed until it is no longer necessary to address the COVID-19 pandemic in the workplace.

Therefore, employers still need to ensure that their employees are wearing masks in accordance with the permanent rule issued by Oregon OSHA.

The Labor & Employment Practice Group at Tonkon Torp will continue to track the status of the Oregon OSHA rule and will keep you apprised of future developments.

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