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On this day, November 26, 2010, US federal agents in a sting operation arrested Mohamed Osman Mohamud (19), a Somali-born teenager, just as he tried blowing up a van he believed was loaded with explosives at a crowded Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland.

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Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 8:00 am
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Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 8:00 am
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82nd Session of the Oregon Legislature Begins
Monday, January 9, 2023 at 8:00 am
The 2023 Session of the Oregon Legislature begins. Legislators are sworn in and bills are introduced.
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BOLI: Employers May Require Vaccines
There are some exceptions. Union teachers, for instance.

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries is providing answers to the question of employer vaccine mandates. BOLI is the state agency that addresses worker rights claims, discrimination and civil rights. The agency is directed by the elected labor commissioner, Val Hoyle.

According to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has released guidance under federal law that makes it clear that employers may require workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine – with limited exceptions. This is also true under Oregon law.

Employers cannot require COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace if they employ specific types of workers or have contractual limitations. Workers may make requests for exemptions or accommodations due to disability or religion.

Most workplaces can require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but some types of workers are exempt by law. Exempt workers include: people licensed or certified to provide health care, employees of a health care facility, a licensed health care provider or a clinical laboratory, firefighters, law enforcement officers, corrections officers, or parole and probation officers.

For employers with a unionized workforce, such as public school teachers and classified employees, a collective bargaining agreement could contain direct prohibitions on mandatory vaccines in the workplace. Although less common, individual employment contracts could present similar challenges.

In a stunningly bizarre combination of policies, teachers get in the front of the line for vaccines. However, this front-of-the-line position does not obligate them to return to the classroom. Further, though they get the vaccine first, they are not able to be required by their employer to take the vaccine as a condition of employment.

Under civil rights and disability laws, employers with mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policies will need to consider requests for exceptions for individuals with either sincerely held religious convictions, or a disability that prevents them from receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. While employers are not required to grant the exception if it creates an “undue hardship” on the business or a “direct threat” to the safety of the employee or others, employers should engage with the employee to determine if a reasonable accommodation is possible.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-02-07 08:48:31Last Update: 2021-02-07 09:00:21

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