October 19, 2021
by Megan Vaniman

Oregon Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers and Educators in Effect on October 18

Megan VanimanGovernor Brown’s vaccine mandate for Oregon health care workers and educators went into effect earlier this week. On August 19, 2021 Governor Brown implemented  a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers and educators in the state of Oregon. As many may recall, Governor Brown initially mandated a requirement for full vaccination or weekly testing. However, she quickly changed course and on August 19, 2021 removed the weekly testing alternative. Governor Brown’s vaccine mandate requires health care workers and educators to be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021.

The mandate allows for religious and medical exemptions. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has issued specific guidelines for implementing the religious and medical exemptions. The Executive Order mandating vaccines requires the applicable employers to utilize the OHA forms for religious and medical exemptions. These forms are available here. OHA also required the applicable employers to maintain proof of vaccination and/or documentation of medical and religious exceptions for at least two years and provide the information to OHA upon request. Employers of health care providers, educators, staff, contractors, and responsible parties who violate any provision of this rule can be subject to civil penalties of $500 per day per violation.

Although the mandate, at first glance, may appear to only apply to health care workers and educators, it has certainly raised questions regarding the scope of application. For example, some healthcare employers and/or educators may decline to contract with other businesses unless those business have vaccine mandates.

As noted, the requirement to be fully vaccinated was October 18, 2021. Employees who did not meet the requirement or obtain a religious or medical exemption may be terminated or put on administrative leave until they are compliant with the requirement.

The mandate for vaccines is a new requirement that comes with a host of requirements for the applicable employers. Further, anytime an employee is terminated, careful steps should be taken to document the reason for the end of the employment relationship. If you have any questions regarding the vaccinate mandate, whether it applies to your business, or implementing a mandate for your employees, please do not hesitate to contact me at or 503-595-6107.

Posted by: Megan Vaniman