30 Nov

November 2020 Oregon HR Legal Updates

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Oregon Voters Approve Psilocybin Usage and Minimize Penalties for Drug Possession

What happened?
Voters in Oregon have passed Measures 109 and 110.

What are the details?
Measure 109:
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will be responsible for establishing the program and creating regulations. OHA has a two-year period to develop the program. An Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board (OPAB) will advise the OHA. Residents will be allowed to purchase, possess, and consume psilocybin at a psilocybin service center and under the supervision of a psilocybin service facilitator after undergoing a preparation session. Under Measure 109, the OHA determines who is eligible to be licensed as a facilitator, determine what qualifications, education, training, and exams are needed, and create a code of professional conduct for facilitators. OHA would set psilocybin dosage standards and labeling and packaging rules.

Currently Measure 109 does not address how this will impact workplace practices. Guidance is expected over the next two years before the measure goes fully into effect.

Measure 110:
While Measure 110 severely reduces the penalties for individuals found to be in possession of small amounts of certain drugs that were previously illegal, it also mandates establishment/funding of “addiction recovery centers” (centers) within each existing coordinated care organization service area by October 1, 2021. Centers provide drug users with triage, health assessments, treatment, and recovery services. To fund centers, the measure dedicates all marijuana tax revenue above $11,250,000 quarterly, legislative appropriations, and any savings from reductions in arrests, incarceration, and supervision resulting from the measure.

Interestingly, Measure 110 has created a rebuttable presumption for those who require licenses to work in the state of Oregon. The measure amends ORS 670.280 to create a “rebuttable presumption” that an applicant’s or licensee’s existing or prior conviction of a Class E violation “does not” render the person unfit to obtain or hold a license. Measure 110 also amends ORS 670.280 to create a “rebuttable presumption” that such a conviction also “is not related to the fitness and ability” of the applicant or licensee to engage in the activity for which the license is required.

These two measures do not interfere with an employer’s right to maintain drug free workplaces.

An article going over the changes of these two measure can be found here.

Measure 109 can be read here.

Measure 110 can be read here.

What do employers need to do?
Oregon employers should be aware of these changes and know that it does not impact their current ability to regulate controlled substances in the workplace.


Oregon OSHA Issues COVID-19 Regulations

What happened?

Oregon OSHA’s Infectious Disease Rulemaking Advisory Committee has issued significant restrictions on multiple industries and requirements for employers with differences between employers of varying sizes.

What are the details?
There are four requirements that all employers, regardless of industry, will need to adhere to. The four requirements are:

  1. Exposure risk assessment
  2. Infection control plan
  3. Training
  4. COVID-19 infection notification process

The following page numbers will be referring to the pages of the Oregon OSHA document that was released to outline all of these rules, found here.

Exposure Risk Assessment:
Pg. 9. “(g) Exposure risk assessment. No later than December 7, 2020, all employers must conduct a COVID-19 exposure risk assessment, without regard to the use of personal protective equipment, masks, face coverings, or face shields. If an employer has multiple facilities that are substantially similar, its assessment may be developed by facility type rather than site-by-site so long as any site-specific information that affects employee exposure risk to COVID-19 is included in the assessment.”

Note: Oregon OSHA has provided a template for employers to fill out that will satisfy the requirement. An additional requirement for the client to keep in mind:

“Each employer with more than ten employees statewide (including temporary and part-time workers) or that is covered by (1)(c) of this rule (workplaces at exceptional risk) must record their COVID-19 exposure risk assessment in writing by documenting the following information:

(i) The name(s), job title(s), and contact information of the person(s)

who performed the exposure risk assessment;

(ii) The date the exposure risk assessment was completed;

(iii) The employee job classifications that were evaluated; and

(iv) A summary of the employer’s answers to each of the applicable

exposure risk assessment questions in this subsection.”

Infection Control Plan:
Pg. 11 “(h) Infection control plan. No later than December 7, 2020, all employers must establish and implement an infection control plan based on the risks identified in subsection (3)(g) that implements the controls identified in (3)(g)(C)(xiii) including, but not limited to, ventilation, staggered shifts, redesigning the workplace to accommodate physical distancing, reducing use of shared surfaces and tools, limiting the number of employees and other individuals in work areas, personal protective equipment, etc. If an employer has multiple facilities that are substantially similar, its infection control plan may be developed by facility type rather than site-by-site so long as any site-specific information that affects employee exposure risk to COVID-19 is included in the plan. Employers may also rely upon materials developed by associations, licensing agencies, and franchisors to assist with compliance and provided that mechanisms for appropriate employee feedback and involvement are provided.”

Employers with 10 employees statewide will need to keep the control plan in writing and ensure that a copy is accessible to employees at their workplace.

The actual requirements of the Infection Control Plan are as follows:

“(i) A list of all job assignments or worker tasks requiring the use of personal protective equipment (including respirators) necessary to minimize employee exposure to COVID-19;

(ii) The procedures the employer will use to ensure that there is an adequate supply of masks, face coverings, or face shields and personal protective equipment (including respirators) necessary to minimize employee exposure to COVID-19;

(iii) A list and description of the specific hazard control measures that the employer installed, implemented, or developed to minimize employee exposure to COVID-19;

(iv) A description of the employer’s COVID-19 mask, face covering, and face shield requirements at the workplace, and the method of informing individuals entering the workplace where such source control is required;

(v) The procedures the employer will use to communicate with its employees and other employers in multi-employer worksites regarding an employee’s exposure to an individual known or suspected to be infected with COVID-19 to whom other workers may have been exposed. This includes the communication to individuals identified through COVID-19 contact tracing and general communication to the workplace at large; and

(vi) The procedures the employer will use to provide its workers with the initial employee information and training required by this rule.”

Note: While it is not currently available, Oregon OSHA has stated that it will make samples of Infection Control Plans available to employers to assist them in completing the task.


Pg. 12.  “Employee information and training. No later than December 21, 2020, employers must provide workers with information and training regarding COVID-19. This information and training can be provided remotely or using computer-based models but must be provided in a manner and language understood by the affected workers. Employers must ensure that the training provides an opportunity for feedback from employees about the topics covered in the training, which must include at least the following elements:

(A) Physical distancing requirements as they apply to the employee’s workplace and job function(s);

(B) Mask, face covering, or face shield requirements as they apply to the employee’s workplace and job function(s);

(C) COVID-19 sanitation requirements as they apply to the employee’s workplace and job function(s);

(D) COVID-19 signs and symptom reporting procedures that apply to the employee’s workplace;

(E) COVID-19 infection notification process as required by this rule;

(F) Medical removal as required by this rule;

(G) The characteristics and methods of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus

(H) The symptoms of the COVID-19 disease;

(I) The ability of pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 persons to transmit the SARS-CoV-2 virus; and

(J) Safe and healthy work practices and control measures, including but not limited to, physical distancing, sanitation and disinfection practices.”

Note: Oregon OSHA will be providing training materials that can be used to complete the training requirements. Additionally, if the client has already provided training covering the above topics, they will not be required to administer it again, but they will need to provide training on any of the topics not covered by the previous training.

COVID-19 Infection Notification Process:
Employers will need to set up a process to notify employees that have had a work-related contract with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, as well as to notify affected employees that an individual who was present in the facility has confirmed COVID-19. The requirement has two parts:

(A) A mechanism for notifying both exposed and affected employees within 24 hours of the employer being made aware that an individual with COVID-19 was present in the workplace while infectious or otherwise may have had work-related contact with its employee(s) while infectious; and

(B) This notification process must be established and implemented in accordance with all applicable federal and Oregon laws and regulations.

Note: Oregon OSHA has issued a model notice policy that employers may use. 

In addition to the above requirements, Oregon OSHA had issued additional requirements for the above requirements if the employer works with any of the following activities:

“(A) Direct patient care;

(B) Environmental decontamination services in a healthcare setting;

(C) Aerosol-generating healthcare or postmortem procedures;

(D) Direct client service in residential care or assisted living facilities;

(E) Emergency first responder activities;

(F) Personal care activities that involve very close contact with an individual, such as toileting or bathing; or

(G) Handling, packaging, cleaning, processing, or transporting human remains or human tissue specimens or laboratory cultures collected from an individual known or suspected to be infected with COVID-19”

Oregon OSHA also included industry specific regulations that can be found on the document linked above:

  1. Restaurants, Bars, Brewpubs, and Public Tasting Rooms at Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries
  2. Retail Stores
  3. Outdoor/Indoor Markets
  4. Personal Services Providers
  5. Construction Operations
  6. Indoor and Outdoor Entertainment Facilities
  7. Outdoor Recreation Organizations
  8. Transit Agencies
  9. Collegiate, Semi-Professional, and Minor League Sports
  10. Professional and PAC-12 Sports
  11. Licensed Swimming Pools, Licensed Spa Pools, and Sports Courts Mandatory Workplace Guidance
  12. Fitness-Related Organizations
  13. K-12 Educational Institutions (Public or Private)
  14. Early Education Providers
  15. Institutions of Higher Education (Public or Private)
  16. Veterinary Clinics
  17. Fire Service and EMS
  18. Law Enforcement
  19. Jails and Custodial Institutions

The example Risk Exposure Assessment can be found here, at the bottom of the webpage under “Documents.”

The model notice policy can be found here.

Additional information, forms, and model notices will be posted here.

What do employers need to do?
All employers with employees in Oregon should review the above information and begin the process of completing the requirements, as some may take time and planning to complete.


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