The State of Masking Requirements in Oregon

Tonkon Torp LLP

Tonkon Torp LLP

In a shifting landscape of federal and state rules, mandates, and legal challenges to them, Oregon employers may be wondering whether face masks and related requirements are still in effect. Until at least February 2022, Oregon requires individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask, face covering, or face shield when in an indoor space, unless they are:

  • A child younger than two
  • A child younger than five or not yet in kindergarten and not using public transportation or in a transportation hub
  • Sleeping
  • Actively eating or drinking
  • Actively engaged in an activity that makes wearing a face mask infeasible (e.g., swimming or showering)
  • In a private individual workspace (e.g., an office with a closed door)
  • Required to remove the face covering to briefly undergo an identity or security check (e.g., for a bank, law enforcement, or airport security)
  • Playing a competitive sport at any level
  • Officiating a competitive sport, requiring high physical exertion from the official (such as a referee running on field to observe the players)
  • Performing (playing music, delivering a speech, theater)

Any person responsible for an indoor space must (1) ensure employees, contractors, and volunteers comply; (2) make reasonable efforts to ensure customers, guests, visitors, and other individuals comply; and (3) post signs at every entrance to the indoor space. Business signage is available here.

Any person who violates the rule is subject to civil penalties of up to $500 per day per violation.

Employers must provide face coverings for employees (and are encouraged, but not required, to provide them for customers and visitors). Employers must also train employees on how to safely work and communicate with people who cannot wear face coverings, and provide appropriate accommodations, if needed.

Employers and places of public accommodation must make appropriate reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Oregon law prohibiting discrimination in schools, and other state laws.

Large employers who may be subject to the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) must follow the above Oregon rule, even though the ETS does not require vaccinated employees to wear masks in the workplace.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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