Oregon Employers and Compliance with COVID-19 Restrictions

A couple of things for Oregon employers and employees to keep in mind.

First –

All employees get sick time. If you have 10 or more employees sick time must be paid.

1 hour of sick time accrues for every 30 hours worked.

Employees can use sick time to care for themselves, family members or for visits to medical professionals. Sick time can also be used if a parent needs to care for children affected by a school closure.

Second –

Many businesses will really test working from home over the next month. It’s important for employers to have written “device” and “work from home” policies and a “work from home” plan for affected employees. These policies keep productivity up and prevent loss of data.

If you or your employees are working from home consider having a written policy that addresses (1) software and equipment, (2) daily work schedules and systems of accountability, and (3) preventing unauthorized access to confidential information.

Employers should consider having their employees email a work from home plan addressing these issues.

A device policy creates rules for employees to use their own device for work purposes. A device policy makes clear (1) what applications employees should use when working with client or customer information, and (2) where to store client and customer information. A device policy helps employees prevent data theft or other security issues.

Third –

Governor Brown issued an executive order today. I’ve attached a link to the order to this post.

The Governor clearly has the statutory authority to issue this order. Anyone knowingly violating the order risks being charged with a Class C misdemeanor crime. Additionally, if the state issues a notice of violation of public health law the violator will be subject to penalties of up to $500 per day the violation continues.

Some people are reasonably concerned about whether Governor Brown’s order violates their constitutional rights.

I do not think so.

Under the 5th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution public health regulations that are “arbitrary, oppressive and unreasonable” are unconstitutional. Governor Brown’s order does not appear arbitrary, oppressive and unreasonable under the circumstances.

In 1900 a court ruled against the city of San Francisco when it tried to inoculate and then quarantine Chinese residents against bubonic plague when the court doubted plague conditions existed. I could not find that any Oregon courts have ever addressed this issue.

I am advising clients to review Governor Brown’s order carefully and comply. https://www.oregon.gov/…/Docu…/executive_orders/eo_20-07.pdf