Those Mask Rules Just Keep Changing

By Clay Creps

Well, we just issued an update yesterday telling you that despite the CDC and Governor Brown saying no masks are required in public places for vaccinated people, Oregon OSHA still requires you to have them at work. Not so fast, says the Oregon Health Authority. On May 18, 2021, the OHA issued Interim Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals. This Guidance says, with limited exceptions, that “individuals who are fully vaccinated with proof of vaccination status are not required to wear a mask, face covering or face shield, or maintain physical distancing.” However, businesses and employers are required to continue to apply and enforce the OR-OSHA mask requirements unless the business or employer: has a policy for checking proof of vaccination status; requests proof of vaccination status from each individual; and reviews each individual’s proof of vaccination prior to entry. Furthermore, businesses and employers may at their discretion continue to apply and enforce the OR-OSHA mask requirements. This seems to indicate there is no right of an employee who has been vaccinated and has proof to go without a mask. It appears it is still up to the employer. OR-OSHA has said it will be providing interpretive guidance in light of OHA’s Interim Guidance.

Stay tuned for our next tip on how to create mask policies for your workplace under these new regulations.

This update is prepared for the general information of our clients and friends. It should not be regarded as legal advice. If you have questions about the issues raised here, please contact any of the attorneys in our Labor & Employment Practice Group, or the attorney with whom you normally consult.

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