Many of us have been waiting for guidance on how to incorporate the Oregon OSHA rules and the CDC/OHA guidance related to masks and physical distancing after the May 13th announcement by Governor Brown. Today, Oregon OSHA provided this statement as to how SDAO members can proceed. SDAO staff has confirmed that EEOC and BOLI guidance allows employers to ask an employee to show proof of vaccination, without any other medical information. Districts should be mindful to not inadvertently or with intent, create an environment in which employees, visitors, customers, etc. have a feeling that they are being coerced into receiving a vaccine.
Oregon OSHA’s Statement Regarding Vaccination Status in Relation to Oregon’s Facial Covering and Social Distancing Requirements
Consistent with the May 18, 2021 document from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) entitled “Interim Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals” and based on the requirements of OAR 437-001-0744, Oregon OSHA expects employers to ensure that the physical distancing and facial covering requirements of the rule are enforced as reflected by the OHA guidance.
As outlined in the OHA document, if the employer chooses to allow either employees or visitors to the workplace to make use of the vaccine exemption, the employer does not need to enforce the physical distancing and facial covering requirements in relation to those individuals provided that the employer verifies the vaccination status of such individuals. An employer who requests and reviews verification of vaccination may permit fully vaccinated individuals with such proof of vaccination to go without a mask, face covering or face shield, and does not need to enforce physical distancing requirements for such individuals.
If an individual who claims to be vaccinated but refuses to provide verification of vaccination status, the employer need take no further action but must enforce the physical distancing and facial covering requirements without regard to the exemption.
The requirements of OAR 437-001-0744 other than those related to distancing and the use of facial coverings remain in place and are not affected by the vaccination exemption.