Workplace Guidance

PRESS RELEASE: Loans and other support available to businesses and nonprofits affected by COVID-19

State workplace guidance

Businesses must adhere to the Stay Home, Save Lives executive order issued on March 23, 2020.

Please scroll down for instructions on reporting a possible violation to the order.

Older guidance that still applies if your business is remaining open:

  • Increase physical space between employees in offices and worksites to least six feet
  • Stagger work schedules
  • Limit in-person meetings
  • Limit travel
  • Strongly consider 7-14 day paid leave or flexible leave policies

Prepare your workforce

Ensure that your sick leave policy makes it easy for employees to stay home when they are sick. Make sure you are in compliance with federal, state, and local sick leave laws and policies. Make sure employees know these policies and understand your expectations.  

If your organization works with companies that provide contract or temporary employees, talk to them about the importance of sick employees staying home, and encourage those partners to develop flexible sick leave policies.

  • Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if staff become symptomatic at the worksite.
  • For those employees who are sick with respiratory illness, do not require a healthcare provider’s note to validate their illness or to return to work.
  • Plan for absenteeism by identifying essential functions and creating plans for continuity of operations.
    • Cross-train personnel to perform essential functions so the workplace can operate even if key staff are absent.
    • Consider what your business needs to maintain critical operations (identify alternative suppliers, prioritize customers, temporarily suspend some operations, if needed).

Keep employees healthy

Remind employees that anyone who shows symptoms of respiratory illness should go home immediately. They should return to work only after they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or higher, measured with an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines and cough suppressants.  

Take simple steps to support a healthy work environment. These are important every day, but especially during flu season, or any time there’s a risk of spreading particularly nasty germs.  

  • Place posters that encourage staying home when sickcovering coughs and sneezes, and washing hands frequently with warm soapy water at workplace entrances and in other visible areas.
  • Provide tissues, waste baskets and hand sanitizer in areas where employees gather or meet, and near frequent touch surfaces such as keypads, turnstiles,] and elevators.
  • Clean all frequently touched surfaces daily, such as desks and keyboards, countertops, and doorknobs. 
  • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
  • There is no public health recommendation for mask use outside of healthcare settings.

To Report a Possible Violation

EMPLOYEES: If you believe your employer is in violation of Executive Order 20-12, you can file a complaint on OSHA’s website. This is OSHA's general complaint form. Even though it doesn't say anything about COVID-19, this is the correct place to file your complaint.

CONCERNED COMMUNITY MEMBERS: If you believe any business in Washington County is in violation of Executive Order 20-12 or 20-07, call 503-846-8390 or send us an email

We will first provide education to help a business come into compliance with the order. Citation through law enforcement is an absolute last resort. We must have ALL of the following information in order for our Enforcement Branch to follow up with the business.

  • Name of business
  • Full address of business, including zip code
  • Date(s) violation occurred
  • What is the violation? What did you observe? (For example, business operating that should be closed; business allowed to be operating but not enforcing social distancing; public gatherings; food or beverage being consumed on site)

News highlights

Stay home, save lives

Social distancing

Face coverings

Coping with anxiety

While school is out

Home guidance

Workplace guidance

Share facts, not fear

Donations and volunteers

Contact Us