Main Menu
Legal Alert

Guidelines For Oregon Employers As Phased Reopening Plan Begins

5.15.20

Governor Brown recently announced that Oregon’s businesses will be reopening in three phases. The first phase began on May 15 for counties that have met certain public health prerequisites, including a declining prevalence of COVID-19, contact tracing, availability of isolation facilities, and PPE for first responders (described in more detail here). Counties that cannot meet the prerequisites will remain closed until the prerequisites are met, or until the governor releases additional guidance. If counties, regions, or the state fail to maintain the prerequisites after reopening, the governor may reimpose business closures. 

Phase One includes the reopening of restaurants, bars, retail stores, gyms, fitness centers, and personal service providers (salons, tattoo parlors, massages, etc.). Phase Two will consist of higher risk activities, including expanding gathering size and permitting office work. Phase Three will include large gatherings, including sporting events, festivals, and concerts.

After 21 days in Phase One, the Governor’s Office will consider approving counties to progress into Phase Two, for which guidance has not yet been released. The state will likely not enter into Phase Three until a reliable treatment or vaccine is available.

On May 14, the governor’s office approved 28 counties to enter Phase One, with three county applications still under review. Multnomah County has not yet applied for reopening because it has not met the reopening prerequisites, though it is publicly tracking its progress. 

The governor also announced that certain retail stores may be reopened on May 15, even in counties that are not approved to enter Phase One. These retail stores include furniture stores, art galleries, jewelry shops, and boutiques where OSHA’s social distancing guidelines may be implemented. Childcare, summer school, camps and youth programs may also be reopened beginning May 15, subject to the state’s childcare requirements.

Phase One Reopening

The governor has issued “Phase One” reopening guidance to Oregon employers. The guidance includes requirements, restrictions, and recommendations for employers reopening during Phase One. The new requirements and restrictions will remain in place at least throughout the first phase of reopening, which will last a minimum of 21 days.

If you operate a business that serves food, a retail store in a shopping center or mall, or a business that provides personal services, this article will provide Oregon’s limitations and requirements for reopening your business during Phase One, as well as recommendations to help ensure that your staff and consumers remain safe and healthy. Prior to reopening, take care to fully review both the general employer guidance and the sector-specific guidance provided by the Oregon Health Authority, available here

We operate a business that serves food in a county that has been approved to enter Phase One…

What are the limitations to our operations during Phase One?

What are the requirements for us to operate during Phase One?

What other recommendations does the state have for our reopening?

For more information on the reopening of businesses that serve food, visit the governor’s guidance, available here

We operate a retail store . . .  

Can I operate if my county has not been approved for Phase One reopening?

Possibly. Standalone retail stores may be opened in counties that have not been approved to enter Phase One, so long as they follow all government guidance. Such stores include furniture stores, art galleries, jewelry shops, and boutiques. Retail stores in malls or shopping centers may not be reopened in counties not approved for Phase One reopening.

What are the requirements for us to operate?

What other recommendations does the state have for our reopening?

For more information on the reopening of retail stores, visit the Governor’s guidance, available here

Are there any additional requirements for reopening retail stores in shopping centers and malls in counties that have been approved to enter Phase One?

Yes. In addition to implementing the state’s retail store guidance, retail stores in shopping centers and malls are also required to:

For more information on the reopening of malls and shopping centers, visit the Governor’s guidance, available here.

I operate a business that provides personal services (including salons, barbers, tattoo shops, and massage providers) in a county that has been approved to enter Phase One. . .

What are the requirements for us to operate?

I operate a gym or fitness center in a county that has been approved to enter Phase One. . .

What are the limitations to our operations during Phase One?

What are the requirements for us to operate during Phase One?

What other recommendations does the state have for our reopening?

For more information on the reopening of gyms and fitness centers, visit the Governor’s guidance, available here

What else should I do before reopening my business?

For additional information on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on employers, we encourage you to review our nationwide Comprehensive and Updated FAQs for Employers on the COVID-19 Coronavirus, put together by our firm’s COVID-19 Taskforce. Likewise, we encourage Oregon employers to review our legal alert related to the interplay between Oregon leave laws and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Conclusion

We will continue to monitor the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation and provide updates as appropriate. Make sure you are subscribed to Fisher Phillips’ Alert System to get the most up-to-date information. For further information, contact your Fisher Phillips attorney, any attorney in our Portland office, or any member of our COVID-19 Taskforce. You can also review our nationwide Comprehensive and Updated FAQs for Employers on the COVID-19 Coronavirus and our FP Resource Center For Employers, maintained by our Taskforce.


This Legal Alert provides an overview of a specific developing situation. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular situation.

Back to Page

By using this site, you agree to our updated General Privacy Policy and our Legal Notices.