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COVID-19 Resources

Please stay safe, sane and healthy. If you need help please reach out and utilize the resources available.


RESOURCES




OWGL & OWC offices are closed.

OWGL & OWC offices are closed, staff is working remotely.

The offices are operating remotely in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. OWC is remote staff support only. OWGL office will be closed to the public but staffed when/if possible.

The health of our families, employees, customers, vendors and partners remains as important as ever and we recognize the danger that COVID-19 poses for vulnerable individuals. Non-essential in-person meetings have been moved to phone conferencing or postponed.

Our staff is committed to serving our industry, which does not have the option for closing down. We are available by email and cell phone and continuing to operate remotely.

Mailings will be temporarily available online or by email only until further notice.

Please visit our staff resources page for direct contact info.
OWC
OWGL


SAIF Worker Safety Fund

SAIF’s board of directors had approved a $10 million coronavirus worker safety fund. The fund is designed to promote employee safety, reduce injuries, and decrease exposures by helping businesses impacted by the coronavirus.

The application is now available at saif.com/safetyfund, and we will accept submissions until all funds have been expended or until the fund is terminated.


The fund helps pay for expenses tied to preventing the spread of coronavirus at businesses or mitigating other coronavirus-related costs. Funds may be approved for costs related to worksite cleaning and disinfection, reopening businesses safely after a coronavirus-related closure, workspace modification or redesign related to safety or social distancing, and mental health and wellness initiatives.

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VIEW EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-12

Important Highlights:

  • The order does not include agriculture in the business closure requirements.
  • The order delegates future decisions to close businesses to OHA, with required Governor approval.
  • Businesses able to remain open through this order are required to designate an employee or officer to establish, implement and enforce social distancing politics consistent with guidance from OHA.


Wheat Industry amid COVID-19

The safety of our farms, farmers, grain handlers, truckers and employees is paramount. The agriculture community and industry are taking the extra steps necessary to support the unprecedented dynamics COVID-19 has brought us.

We recognize that we must continue operations in order to ensure a steady supply of wheat to market. While additional quarantines are not currently in effect, the situation can quickly change. The agriculture industry has always done business on a handshake. Our industry works tirelessly to produce top quality crops on our local farms, and now we are called upon to work even harder to get our crops to market.

The emergence of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States might change the physical interactions and mechanics of the wheat industry, but it must not change our fundamental practices and values. The agriculture community has been built on relationships from the beginning of time. While we must all do our part to flatten the curve of exposure through common sense measures that limit the avenues of transmission, we also will retain our commitments to one another.

As the number of confirmed cases raise daily and the cancellation of all gatherings and limitations are in effect for the weeks to come, our services go on. In order to have wheat to supply, we need to assure that our farms can continue to employ agriculture workers to support planting of the spring crop, irrigation, servicing machinery, and other farm operations. There is not an option for delaying this work: mother nature does not wait for us. If we do not have the labor to plant and tend to our crops, we will not have wheat to harvest in July and August.

We value what our members and farmers contribute to our wheat industry and greatly appreciate your support. We are all in this together. We urge all of our members to implement logical, common-sense practices to reduce transmission, thereby keeping more people safe and making the public health response the most effective it can be.

OWGL Ag Exemption Letter Request



CONTINUE EXPORT GRAIN INSPECTIONS

USW Welcomes Commitment to Continue Export Grain Inspections During COVID-19 Pandemic

Wheat importers around the world trust the United States as a reliable supplier. One of the foundations of that earned trust comes from the assurance provided by the official inspection process and certification performed by the Federal Grain Inspection Service that accompanies every cargo exported. We are pleased to see reassurance from USDA that it will do all it can to ensure that the U.S. wheat store will remain open during this time of global uncertainty. U.S. Wheat Associates will continue to monitor supply chains, inspection services and do our part to ensure customers can receive the wheat they need.”

MORE DETAILS



The full Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) statement

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is rising to meet the challenges associated with the new coronavirus disease, Covid-19. As leaders of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Agricultural Marketing Service, we can assure you that the agencies are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our employees while still providing the timely delivery of the services to maintain the movement of America’s food supply from farm to fork.

MORE DETAILS

Resources Available



FAQ “Small Business” Exemption Highlights

58. When does the small business exemption apply to exclude a small business from the provisions of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act?

An employer, including a religious or nonprofit organization, with fewer than 50 employees (small business) is exempt from providing (a) paid sick leave due to school or place of care closures or child care provider unavailability for COVID-19 related reasons and (b) expanded family and medical leave due to school or place of care closures or child care provider unavailability for COVID-19 related reasons when doing so would jeopardize the viability of the small business as a going concern. A small business may claim this exemption if an authorized officer of the business has determined that:

1.The provision of paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave would result in the small business’s expenses and financial obligations exceeding available business revenues and cause the small business to cease operating at a minimal capacity;

2. The absence of the employee or employees requesting paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave would entail a substantial risk to the financial health or operational capabilities of the small business because of their specialized skills, knowledge of the business, or responsibilities; or

3.There are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, and qualified, and who will be available at the time and place needed, to perform the labor or services provided by the employee or employees requesting paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, and these labor or services are needed for the small business to operate at a minimal capacity.

59. If I am a small business with fewer than 50 employees, am I exempt from the requirements to provide paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?

A small business is exempt from certain paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements if providing an employee such leave would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern. This means a small business is exempt from mandated paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave requirements only if the:

  • employer employs fewer than 50 employees;
  • leave is requested because the child’s school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons; and
  • an authorized officer of the business has determined that at least one of the three conditions described in Question 58 is satisfied.

The Department encourages employers and employees to collaborate to reach the best solution for maintaining the business and ensuring employee safety.

A few other interesting updated Q&A’s to note:

26. If my employer is open, but furloughs me on or after April 1, 2020 (the effective date of the FFCRA), can I receive paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?

No. If your employer furloughs you because it does not have enough work or business for you, you are not entitled to then take paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave. However, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. You should contact your State workforce agency or State unemployment insurance office for specific questions about your eligibility. For additional information, please refer to https://www.careeronestop.org/LocalHelp/service-locator.aspx.

27. If my employer closes my worksite on or after April 1, 2020 (the effective date of the FFCRA), but tells me that it will reopen at some time in the future, can I receive paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?

No, not while your worksite is closed. If your employer closes your worksite, even for a short period of time, you are not entitled to take paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave. However, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. This is true whether your employer closes your worksite for lack of business or because it was required to close pursuant to a Federal, State, or local directive. You should contact your State workforce agency or State unemployment insurance office for specific questions about your eligibility. For additional information, please refer to https://www.careeronestop.org/LocalHelp/service-locator.aspx. If your employer reopens and you resume work, you would then be eligible for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave as warranted.

28. If my employer reduces my scheduled work hours, can I use paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for the hours that I am no longer scheduled to work?

No. If your employer reduces your work hours because it does not have work for you to perform, you may not use paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for the hours that you are no longer scheduled to work. This is because you are not prevented from working those hours due to a COVID-19 qualifying reason, even if your reduction in hours was somehow related to COVID-19.

You may, however, take paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave if a COVID-19 qualifying reason prevents you from working your full schedule. If you do, the amount of leave to which you are entitled is computed based on your work schedule before it was reduced (see Question 5).



Helpful Resources

What Ag Producers Need to Know About COVID19

Oregon Farm Bureau Federation



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