Longview Fred Meyer – 185 Garden Center employees pictured, Keri Haynes, Michaela Lynds, and Mackenzie Gates, are happy that they have UFCW 555 Representative, Lynda Hart and Steward, Mary Newcomb enforcing the Outdoor Heat Exposure Rule WAC 296-62-095 through 296-62-09560 and WAC 296-307-097 through 296-307-09760.

Employees working in the Garden Center, Apparel Sidewalk Sale, and Courtesy Clerks taking groceries out to cars and bringing in carts are workers having exposure to outdoor heat and are at risk for Heat-Related Illness, (HRI). HRI includes heat fatigue, heat rash, fainting, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Excessive heat exposures are also linked to injuries from falls, equipment operation accidents and other on-the-job incidents due to fatigue, dizziness and disorientation. Outdoor heat exposure could result in HRI which can cause death or serious physical harm.

Between the dates of May 1st and September 30th, each year, with temperatures reaching 89, or more, the employer must provide, cool, CLEAN, drinking water and the opportunity and access to drink one quart of drinking water per hour. The quantity of drinking water required for an entire shift is not required to all be provided at the beginning of the shift. However, the employer must have sufficient procedures in place to replenish the water supply throughout the day, as needed, or they could be fined.

Employees wearing layers of protective clothing, with temperatures reaching 77, this rule would go into effect for them.


Paid Sick Days moving Forward

Senate Bill 454, the paid sick time bill, passed out of the Joint Ways and Means Committee today by a vote of 14 to 9. The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward and Representative Jessica Vega Pederson, will create a statewide standard so workers all across Oregon can accrue one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours in a year.

“All people should be able to take a day off to get well the first day they are sick,” said UFCW Local 555 President Dan Clay, “I am pleased to see that this bill is moving forward as the Oregon Legislative session comes to an end.  It has been a long fight, but this is why we work so hard to elect lawmakers who will protect workers’ rights, rather than destroy them.”

The paid sick time legislation now awaits further consideration in the Senate.