2020 is almost over, but the global pandemic continues to cause enormous challenges for businesses of all sizes. The last thing employers need is to be hauled into court for trying to do the right thing and follow public health guidelines. A new national survey released by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform shows that almost eight in ten Americans across the political spectrum agree: employers who follow the latest government health guidelines should be protected from COVID-related lawsuits.
The survey shows that 79 percent of Americans agree that aside from cases of gross negligence, employers who follow such guidelines should be protected from lawsuits. The survey also shows that strong majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents agree that Congress should pass liability protections.
Small business owners, like Thomas Ward, are especially concerned about COVID-related lawsuits. Thomas owns an award-winning barbecue restaurant in Orlando, Florida. He is going above and beyond to ensure his customers and employees are safe. But there is a looming threat hanging over him: getting served with a lawsuit claiming someone got sick in his restaurant. During a time of economic uncertainty, Thomas can’t afford to spend money on a lawyer. Common-sense liability protections would give Thomas reasonable protections against abusive lawsuits—not to mention some peace of mind.
Congress must now do their part and pass timely, temporary and targeted liability protections.