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OSHA Comments Still Open
“...Nor excessive fines imposed” Article I, Section 16, Oregon Const.

Today, April 2nd, is the last day to submit testimony, particularly needed from impacted business owners, to OSHA opposing their proposed rule changes. OSHA agency staff are not elected officials, yet are trying to change COVID-19 temporary workplace rules, like masks and social distancing, as permanent rules that inherently create a double-fine situation for Oregon small businesses who are already struggling to survive in this state. Another business store closure was one of the original Dari Mart stores, located in Eugene.

Until today, there were 44 family owned and operated stores from Albany to Cottage Grove. These small, neighborhood stores employed more than 500 people. However, today, Dari Mart announced, via Facebook that it was closing one of its stores. They posted: The Dari Mart store located at 1785 W 18th will be closing its doors for good at 8PM this evening. This is a sad day, as this is one of the original stores. The city of Eugene and State of Oregon are making it increasingly difficult to run a business. Minimum wages have increased over $4.75 and hour, which we could support, except the State put on the backs of businesses a Corporate Activity Tax and the City of Eugene, an employment tax. This location cannot sustain those additional costs of doing business.

Unfortunately, Dari Mart is not alone. Many businesses are facing tough decisions and the Oregon Legislature, run by a super majority that is known for passing legislation that hurts, not helps, small businesses, alongside State Agencies and local governments that are not doing much to help businesses out.

Having double-fine threats from both the Oregon Health Authority and OSHA is a way for those running our state to double-dip with fines and further drain our small business owners and their families, placing more at risk of poverty and placing countless more out of work.

Just days ago, OSHA announced that they had fined Kevista Coffee in Bend $27,470, three times the minimum penalty for stated violations. Struggling business owners Krista and Kevin Lauinger said they chose to re-open the coffee shop even though they were aware that it went against workplace health requirements, as they were desperate to save their business. The huge fine quote, "reflects the need to ensure a more appropriate deterrent effect..." states the OSHA release. It appears as though they are trying to make an example out of these owners as they up the fines to even higher amounts than previously placed on other establishments.

In February, OSHA fined Florence based Firehouse Restaurant $18,150 for violations of standards, twice the minimum penalty for such violations, again, to quote "ensure a more appropriate deterrent effect" toward other businesses in Oregon.

These exorbitant punitive damages, slapped on local businesses for simply trying to operate viably, despite research clearly showing that asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 is not an issue.



A new peer reviewed paper, led by lead author Dr. Henry Ealy, titled, "COVID-19: Restoring Public Trust During A Global Health Crisis," reiterates what others, including what Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that asymptomatic spread of a virus does not drive pandemics. The published paper outlines this critical research that mainstream media continues to ignore:

Asymptomatic transmission is the basis for public health policies regarding masking and social distancing. So what about the economic pandemic evolving here in Oregon around growing poverty, a burgeoning homelessness population and countless cases of business closure and increased rates of suicide? It seems as though those metrics don't fit in with the current narrative or agenda that is being played out by Governor Kate Brown and her state agencies, despite Oregon not having the same drastic COVID-19 impact as other states have seen, yet imposing some of the most draconian and tyrannical lockdown measures and school closures with moving goal posts and changing county risk-level threshold categories with NO stated end in site. Have we all become prisoners of Governor Kate Brown’s no-end-in-sight reopening plan?

As the Oregon Legislature continues to do its work this session, there are more bills being considered that could be the next policy that pushes even more businesses to leave the state and relocate or shutter their doors.

If the Democrat Supermajority doesn’t switch course and focus on saving, not dissolving more of our small business owners, it’s up to the Republican Senators to deny quorum, as many slated controversial and hindering bills otherwise will likely pass.

It begs the question: does the Democrat Supermajority ultimately want to help or hurt Oregonians with policy this legislative session, and will they abandon their radical and special interest agenda to step up into supporting the majority of the population that lives and works in Oregon? Only time, and their actions, will tell.

For another opportunity, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, which is the parent agency of OSHA will accept testimony on its budget and performance -- including the performance of OSHA -- on Monday April 12 at 8:00am. This is a virtual hearing and in order to provide testimony, you must register first

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-02 09:31:09Last Update: 2021-04-03 09:59:09

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