Rep. Boshart Davis: Waive, Refund OR-OSHA COVID-19 Fines

By Oregon House Republican Office:

Today, Representative Shelly Boshart Davis (R-Albany) sent a letter to Governor Tina Kotek urging her administration to take executive action to waive and refund fines related to OR-OSHA’s COVID-19 rules. Representative Boshart Davis suggested that, with the exception of willful and egregious violations, these fines should be cleared to allow Oregon employers and the state to continue to recover from the pandemic and its impacts.

“I’ve talked to plenty of business owners who were doing their best to keep their employees and the public safe during the pandemic, but simply had a hard time keeping up with often changing rules and a complex regulatory landscape,” said Representative Boshart Davis. “The pandemic is over and OR-OSHA’s COVID-19 rules have been suspended. It only makes sense that these fines should be suspended and refunded as well.”

In her letter to Governor Kotek, Representative Boshart Davis referenced media reports suggesting outstanding fines total approximately $800,000. An estimated $100,000 has already been collected by OR-OSHA. Representative Boshart Davis said eliminating these fines would represent a gesture of good will between state government and the employer community and would also allow OR-OSHA regulators to focus their time and attention on keeping workplaces safe prospectively, rather than events that occurred in the past.

“I think even state regulators would admit that the rollout of COVID-19 rules was often confusing, conflicting, and difficult to navigate for everyday Oregonians,” said Representative Boshart Davis. “The state does not need this money. Let’s accelerate our state’s recovery process by wiping out these fines and working together with the employer community to move our state forward. I urge Governor Kotek to get this done.”