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Governor Brown gives method for reporting employers who fail to follow social distancing

Companies that fail to follow the state's social distancing mandates can be reported to authorities, Governor Brown said.

Posted: Mar 25, 2020 2:54 PM
Updated: Mar 25, 2020 3:08 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — On Wednesday, Governor Kate Brown followed up her "Stay Home, Save Lives" executive order with a potential method of enforcement for some of the mandates it contained — a way to report businesses that fail to follow social distancing guidelines.

The Governor's order allows many businesses to stay open, but they are supposed to be adhering to strict social distancing policies. Businesses that aren't outright banned by the order are directed to work toward allowing employees to work from home as much as possible, appoint an officer to oversee proper precautions are being taken, and enforce 6 feet of distance between employees that are still in the same building together.

However, if anecdotal evidence is any guide, at least some employers in Oregon are flouting both the spirit and the letter of the order in an effort to keep in business.

"If your employer is staying open and not enforcing 6 feet of social distancing, you can report them to Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health division," Governor Brown said in a brief Facebook post.

The executive order does allow for a (very limited) number of businesses to operate without such strict guidelines — grocery stores, healthcare facilities, and medical or pharmacy services are only "encouraged" to strive for these same social distancing rules.

Oregon's stay-at-home order does not hinge on what businesses are considered essential or non-essential, unlike some other states. Only the short list of resources just listed are exempt from the social distancing rules, everyone else who stays open is directed to follow social distancing — or risk being shut down.

Brown linked to Oregon's OSHA portal for reporting workplace hazards, which can be reached here.

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