The health and safety of workplaces is of utmost importance to the Oregon Employment Department. This summary provides general guidance to employers, workers, and job seekers who may be impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus. This document will be updated as more information becomes available. The Oregon Employment Department is working with partner agencies nationwide and the U.S. Department of Labor to ask for additional unemployment benefits options related to COVID-19.
What can I do to keep my workplace safe and reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus?
Steps each of us can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus are the same as those to prevent common colds and the flu. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also gives a thorough overview of best practices for businesses, including encouraging sick employees to stay home, routine cleaning of commonly used surfaces, and work travel-specific considerations.
In addition, the CDC encourages reducing workplace exposure by considering flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting), flexible work hours such as staggered shifts, and alternatives to large group meetings where possible to increase the physical distance between people in the workplace.
The Oregon Employment Department provides Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to most workers who are out of work through no fault of their own. To get benefits, workers typically must meet some requirements. In general, to receive UI benefits for a week, they must be able to work, be available for work, and look for work you can do. The Employment Department has enacted temporary rules for more flexibility around these requirements when layoffs occur due to COVID-19 employment disruptions. Full details are available on our COVID-19 web page.
The Oregon Employment Department provides resources for employers who are impacted by COVID-19. One option to consider is whether you may be able to use Oregon's Work Share program. It helps employers prevent layoffs by reducing the schedules of workers, instead of laying them off, while benefits help to offset employees' lost wages.
Are you Self-Employer, Contract, Gig Workers, and/or not eligible for regular unemployment benefits?
Self-employed, contract, gig and other workers not eligible for regular unemployment benefits should complete the PUA application one time, and then only file weekly certifications once per week by email, mail, fax, or secure upload each week they remain out of work or have greatly reduced income due to COVID-19 closures. Specific information about the CARES Act and the application can be found at the link below:
I still have questions. Who can I ask?
The Employment Department has created the OED_COVID19_Info@oregon.gov mailbox for coronavirus questions related to employer and employee programs and services.