Just a few weeks ago, one of the biggest issues businesses across the country grappled with was a shortage of workers in the strongest employment market in history. Today, those concerns seem like a lifetime ago. Now businesses---from family farms and corner coffee shops to big box stores---grapple with a new reality: protecting their workers and customers amidst a global pandemic.
As companies of all sizes think about reopening, a key concern they share is the fear of coronavirus-related lawsuits. Without liability protections, many companies face a daunting choice: stay closed and risk bankruptcy, or open and risk a business-crippling lawsuit.
Lawmakers must protect our nation’s economy from the effects of the coronavirus by limiting litigation in a timely, targeted, and temporary way.
In our nation’s recent history, disasters have been met with actions by our leaders to protect citizens in many ways, including liability. From the Y2K Act, to post- 9/11 laws, to the Great Recession, Congress consistently considered liability protection to be a fundamental ingredient to get the nation back on its feet. During the current crisis, multiple Democratic and Republican governors have extended liability protections to frontline healthcare workers and makers of much-need equipment to fight the pandemic in their states.
American businesses are working hard to keep workers employed, and in all too many cases, just to ride out the storm. Exploitative lawsuits are the last thing they need to worry about.