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OSHA Releases Permanent Rules

OR-OSHA has published the permanent rules implementing workplace protection for COVID-19. As a reminder, the Permanent Rules replace the Temporary Rules which expired on Tuesday, May 4th and apply to ALL employers in Oregon. Our Dalton Advocacy team has been actively involved in the rulemaking process, flagging concerns with proposed expansion by labor and urging the agency to adopt a clear sunset tied to the Governors Executive Order. The rules do not contain a repeal date but do note that the agency will review them every two months beginning in July to discuss partial/complete repeal.

Review the OSHA summary of the rules here. Text of rules here.

The rules are effective May 4th (essentially ensuring no gap in your compliance with the current Temporary Rules on the books) with a delayed effective date of June 6th for the new provisions relating to ventilation, transportation, employee notification, and the PPE supply/crisis management plan requirements and May 17th for provisions related to respiratory protection for direct patient care.

Highlight of how these rules differ from the Temporary Rule:

  • Clarifies that if an employer already conducted a risk assessment and completed an infection control plan under the temporary rules, they do not need to do so again under the permanent rules.
  • Updates the cleaning and sanitization requirements to be consistent with new CDC guidance that such cleaning need only be done once a day. This is particularly helpful for businesses that run 24-hour operations.
  • Directs employers to minimize employees traveling together in vehicles, where practical. Where not practical, employees must wear face coverings and outside air flow in vehicles should be optimized.
  • Employers with 10 or more employees must attest that HVAC systems are functioning consistent with rule requirements.
  • When employees must be absent from the workplace to quarantine because of an exposure, employers must notify them of their rights to return and encourage information to be shared of any paid leave benefits provided by the employer.
    • Note: under new guidance from OHA individuals who are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic do not have to quarantine after an exposure.

CAT Forms now Available Online

Forms for Oregon’s Corporate Activity Tax are now available on the Department of Revenue website.

Go to the Revenue forms page and scroll down to Corporate Activity Tax or type “corporate” in the search box.

Taxpayers with general questions about the CAT can email or call 503-945-8005.

Learn more about the CAT here.

Oregon Workplace Fairness Act

All employers are required by law to have a clear policy to reduce and prevent harassment, discrimination, and sexual assault, as a result of legislative action in 2019. The Oregon Workplace Fairness Act requires all Oregon employers to adopt a written policy containing procedures and practices to reduce and prevent specific types of unlawful discrimination and sexual assault.

At a minimum, the policy must:

(a) Provide a process for employees to report prohibited conduct;

(b) Identify the individual or position (for example the Store Manager or HR Director) as well as an alternate individual or position to whom an employee can report of prohibited conduct;

(c) Include a statement that an employee who pursues legal action on alleged conduct prohibited by ORS 659A.030, 659A.082 or 659A.112 must do so no later than five years after the occurrence of the violation;

(d) Include a statement that an employer may not require or coerce an employee to enter into a nondisclosure or non-disparagement agreement, including a description of the meaning of those terms;

(e) Include an explanation that an employee claiming to be aggrieved by unlawful discrimination or sexual assault may voluntarily request to enter into a settlement, separation or severance agreement which contains a nondisclosure, non-disparagement, or no-rehire provision only if the employee has at least seven days to revoke the agreement after signing; and

(f) Include a statement that advises employers and employees to document any incidents involving unlawful discrimination and sexual assault.

All employers must:

(a) Make the policy available to employees within the workplace;

(b) Provide a copy of the policy to each employee at the time of hire; and

(c) Require any individual who is designated by the employer to receive complaints to provide a copy of the policy to an employee at the time that the employee discloses information regarding prohibited discrimination or harassment.

Be Road Safe!

To help keep both motorists and farmers safe, the Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) Health & Safety Committee offers a video and free brochure with important tips on how to share the road safely with farm equipment.


More Valuable Links

OR-OSHA "Fighting farmland and rangeland wildfires" publication.

Guide to Farm Trucking in Oregon – ODOT, online version.

OSU Extension Cereal Newsletters – online reports by count.y

Crop Quality Oregon State Reports.

Grain Bin Safety Flyer.

SAIF: Agriculture and farm safety. Find information on agricultural safety and regulations, including pesticides, farm vehicles, seasonal workers, and more.

Visit the Oregon OSHA website to learn more about agricultural safety and regulations.

View the 2020 Seed Buying Guide here.

Worker Protection Standards

Web-Based Training for Trainers of Agricultural Workers and Pesticide Handlers under the National Worker Protection Standard (WPS) – Train the Trainer course – online, 24/7 training

WPS Compliance Assistance Library – A comprehensive guide with links to FAQ and more.

WPS: A Manual for Trainers of Ag Workers & Pesticide Handlers

PERC website – Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative

“How to Comply” Manual

Federal Motor Carrier Medical Card Waiver Extended

FMCSA has had a waiver in place since March to allow commercial driver license holders who are subject to federal rules to continue to hold commercial driving privileges with expired certificates. These Medical Examiner Certificate (MEC) waivers will be extended as follows:

  • If a driver certifies a driving type of “non-excepted interstate” and their MEC was valid for a period of 90 or more days and expired on or after Sept. 1, 2020, then a MEC emergency condition waiver will be placed on their record with an expiration date of Feb. 28, 2021. “Non-expected interstate” drivers whose prior MEC expired before September 1, 2020 or was valid for a period less than 90 days will not qualify for this new waiver.
  • If a driver certifies a driving type of “non-excepted intrastate” or “excepted interstate” and the driver’s prior MEC was valid for a period of 90 or more days and expired on or after March 1, 2020, and before Feb. 28, 2021, a MEC emergency condition waiver will be placed on their driving record with an expiration date of February 28, 2021.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Oregon DMV have taken steps to help keep the holders of commercial driver licenses (CDL) and commercial learner permits (CLP) on the road during the COVID-19 response.

DMV is continuing to provide CLP knowledge tests and first-time CDL issuances by appointment only at six offices across Oregon.

Learn More

Driver License, Vehicle Tag Grace Period Extended

Oregon residents with a vehicle registration, permit or driver license expiring between Nov. 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021, have up to three months after their expiration date without being cited by law enforcement for an expired license or tags. The Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon law enforcement agencies agreed to the new grace period as DMV catches up with a backlog due to COVID-19 restrictions.
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