Oregon OSHA New Regulations on Outdoor Smoke Exposure 

Fire season is here! OR OSHA has new regulations for those who may work around outdoor smoke, including mask requirements and guidelines for indoor smoke exposure. The harmful chemicals and tiny particles suspended in wildfire smoke can make anyone sick. The health danger concerning these tiny particles is addressed in newly published standards for worker protection. These standards will apply to employers whose employees are exposed to unhealthy or hazardous levels of wildfire smoke.    […]

Oregon Paid Family Leave update

Paid Leave in Oregon | Effective 2023.   The Oregon Employment Department [OED] has recently issued a press release (see below) outlining the details on the employee-employer tax contribution for the Oregon Paid Family Leave program.   Paid Leave Oregon is an insurance program for all Oregon employers and employees. The program is funded through payroll-based contributions made by both the employee and employer. Eligible employees will receive a weekly benefit payment, with the amount of […]

IRS Raises Standard Mileage Rate for Final Half of 2022

 Business mileage rate increases to 62.5 cents per mile, up from 58.5 cents      Citing soaring gas prices, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on June 9 announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rate for the final six months of 2022.    Effective July 1 through Dec. 31, 2022, the standard mileage rate for the business use of employees’ vehicles will be 62.5 cents per mile—the highest rate the IRS has ever published—up […]

New Heat Illness Prevention Rules

New Rules take Effect June 15th New rules from OR-OSHA on Heat Illness Prevention will take effect, Wednesday, June 15, 2022. These rules will apply to outdoor workplaces and indoor workplaces without ventilation. A summary of these rules can be found at these links: Summary: OR-OSHA Heat Illness Prevention and Wildfire Smoke Rules Fact sheet about the key requirements of the heat rule Fact sheet about the heat rule’s rest break schedule options for preventing […]

The Five Stages of Employee Burnout 

Burnout is considered one of the key factors in “The Great Resignation” phenomenon.  In this tight labor market, employees at all skill levels have more options to find better employment conditions. Workers are not sticking around businesses where chronic stress is part of the job. This article reveals the five signs of worker burnout and what employers can do about it!    Understanding Workplace Burnout  The term burnout commonly describes feelings of being overworked or […]

Promoting Mental Health Awareness at the Worksite 

Steps Employers Can Take to Promote Workers’ Mental Health  Employers can promote awareness about the importance of mental health and stress management through a combination of workplace health programs, HR benefits, and employee education. Research has shown that these programs are successful, especially when they combine mental and physical health interventions with actual worksite activities. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention [CDC] has a website devoted to helpful resources for employers. Here is a […]

May 2022: National Mental Health Awareness Month

After the last two years of pandemic living, many people are realizing that stress, isolation, and uncertainty have taken a toll on their well-being. This newfound realization has led to an emphasis in addressing mental and emotional health issues within the workforce.    MENTAL HEALTH IMPACTS US ALL  As mentioned by the Whitehouse Briefing Room: “Proclamation on National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2022:”     “Even before the pandemic, millions of Americans were experiencing stress, trauma, anxiety, […]


More Jobs – Less Available Hires    The pool of available workers for hire in the U.S. labor market will continue to decline for the next eight years, according to a new analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Below is a quick summary of those statistics. Links to potential hiring solutions can be found at the end of this article.    Available Labor Pool vs. Job Growth    The available labor force participation rate is […]

Recent Legal Updates Affecting Employers

SB 1514 |  Oregon Extends Pay Equity Exemption for Certain Pandemic-Related Payments SB 1514 permits employers to continue offering COVID-19 vaccine incentives as well as hiring and retention bonuses through the end of Oregon’s state of emergency, plus 180 days, without running afoul of the state’s pay equity law.    May 11 |   OSHA Invites Oregon Employers & Workers to Take a ‘Safety Break’   Oregon OSHA encourages employers and workers across the state to take […]

Temporary COVID-19-related policy of allowing expired I-9 documents ending

Effective May 1, 2022, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is ending its temporary COVID-19-related policy of allowing employers to use expired List B identity documents for I-9 purposes.     Employers will no longer be able to accept expired identity documents when verifying an employee’s work eligibility on Form I-9. The temporary policy was implemented by the Department of Homeland Security in May of 2020 due to many government agencies that were not able […]