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States Continue to Release Reopening Guidelines for Employers

Over the past several days, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho have announced a gradual lifting of ”stay home” orders and reopening of non-essential businesses. In order to ensure the safety of employees and compliance with new requirements, employers must be mindful of federal and state guidelines before and during the reopening phases.

See below for links to the most recent guidance from federal and state agencies:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC provides up to date COVID-19 guidance and recommendations for employers and employees, including an updated list of symptoms, self-checker, and Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019.

OSHA

OSHA has provided guidance relating to requirements employers must follow in order to safely re-open or remain open. Visit the OSHA COVID-19 page for up to date guidance. OSHA requires employers to assess occupational hazards to which their workers may be exposed. Employers should be conducting job hazard assessments to identify appropriate safety and PPE requirements for their business. Eligible members are encouraged to contact our Safety Hotline with any questions about conducting job hazard assessments.

Washington

Governor Inslee announced that the reopening of the State will occur in measured steps, guided by science, and dependent on the sustained decrease of the infection rate and increase of testing capacity. The Safe Start Washington plan outlines information about the governor’s phased reopening plan and industry-specific guidance for safe reopening. Business activities are not authorized to open until a business is able to meet all safety criteria. Guidance documents are available on the State’s Safe Start website page. Visit L&I’s guidance and resources for COVID-19 topics related to L&I.

Idaho

Governor Little adopted guidelines that constitute a “data-driven approach to opening up Idaho’s economy.” Re-opening is phased using four increments, contingent upon review by the Idaho Division of Public Health and the Governor’s Coronavirus Working Group of syndromic, epidemiological, and healthcare criteria every two weeks to assess if criteria are met or continue to be met. Visit Idaho Rebounds website for an overview of the stages of reopening for Idaho employers and protocols for opening.

Oregon

Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced Oregon’s Plan for Rebuilding a Safe and Strong Oregon, including new guidance for counties and businesses on the phased reopening process. In accordance with federal guidance, Oregon’s plan has three phases, with criteria and core preparedness requirements that must be met before moving to the next phase. Employers can view the most recent presentation on Phases for Reopening Oregon at coronavirus.oregon.gov.

As employers and employees prepare to return to work, communication and planning will be more important now than ever. Archbright is ready to assist members with all of the safety, HR, and legal issues. If you are an Archbright member, contact your Account Executive about using Archbright HR and Safety Consultants to assist with planning, communication, and training. Eligible members are encouraged to contact the HR Hotline, Safety Hotline, or legal counsel with any questions or to seek specific guidance. Eligible members may also access Archbright’s comprehensive KeyNotes, sample policies, and workplace posters available on the Archbright HR Toolkit and COVID Resources page located on the Members Only website.

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Joy Sturgis, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Joy has more than 15 years of managerial and director-level human resources experience in both manufacturing and service organizations. As an Archbright Content Manager, her responsibilities include creating and reviewing HR and legal content for all aspects of federal and Washington, Oregon and Idaho state employment law. She also supports our members with a variety of HR functions including HR advice and counsel, handbook and policy review, and employee development training. During her HR career, she has been responsible for leading HR strategies and functions for Washington companies as well as multi-state Business Units. Joy has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Villanova University and a MBA from University of Phoenix.