By Glenn Hamer | Chamber Business News
The undersigned chambers of commerce urge Congress to pass timely, temporary and targeted liability relief legislation to provide businesses a safe harbor from unwarranted lawsuits that, left unchecked, will endanger the fight against the pandemic and undermine the safe and orderly return to work for millions of Americans.
From distillers who switched to producing hand sanitizers, to manufacturers that transformed their operations to construct personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators, to front line medical professionals treating the afflicted, to pharmaceutical companies that are expediting research into cures, American businesses have rallied to fight the pandemic. During the stay-at-home orders, essential businesses have remained open and innovated in ways that permitted them to continue to provide critical services and supplies. Now millions of other businesses are in the process of reopening, desiring to do so in a safe manner that protects their employees and customers.
This is an unprecedented situation and despite employers’ best efforts to comply with public health guidance, many are concerned that they will be forced to defend themselves against a wave of lawsuits. Their concern is driven by the fact that each day brings news of more lawsuits that have already been filed. That is why Congress should provide a safe harbor that holds truly bad actors accountable, but that protects those employers who are working to follow public health guidance. Specifically, temporary protections should remain in place for the duration of the pandemic crisis and response that cover: