COVID-19 or coronavirus as it is sometimes called has changed the entire dynamic of the workplace and of the legal system as well. Legal experts say that they don’t even know how this one will pan out as the country has never experienced a situation that has been as unique as this one. They are concerned that an avalanche of lawsuits could be sprung against employers for a variety of COVID-19 related reasons.
The concern is strong enough that it has attract attention on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers such as Kevin McCarthy of California has stated that liability protections for businesses and even doctors are a major priority for the Republican Party. They have even gone so far as to say that no piece of legislation will be passed until this specific issue is addressed.
Although protecting businesses from a massive number of lawsuits may seem like a reasonable goal to have, some worker advocates are worried that providing too many protections for employers will give even the most upstanding of employers the green light to not take the precautions that they ought to be taking to keep their workers safe. Blanket liability protections could make the workplace like the Wild West.
Small Business Owners Have The Most To Lose
Small business owners undoubtedly have the most to lose when it comes to the potential for a wave of lawsuits resulting from COVID-19. They could see the entire business go under because they just don’t have the funds to keep it afloat any longer. That reality should scare some small business owners into understanding that they need to hire a lawyer now more than ever. The very real odds of a lawsuit due to health concerns has just climbed through the roof, and there is no turning that around.
Lawyers are already lining up to take these cases (on both sides actually). They know that employees may have a valid argument to make in favor of compensation in certain circumstances as it relates to COVID-19 precautions that were or were not taken to help them. On the other hand, a lot of businesses need to use this time to protect themselves from what they know will almost certainly be a wave of these lawsuits coming their way. The only way to head this off may be to retain excellent legal counsel now.
Business Owners Are Acting Now
There is no time like the present to take any and all measures possible to protect against these threats. Many business owners are stocking up on protective gear for employees. They are also providing things like hand sanitizer in bulk. All of these things are extremely important, and all of them help keep the workplace safer during this uncertain time.
Many companies have decided to let their employees work from home. Some have even gone so far as to allow this to be the permanent way that they do business going forward. Not every company can afford to do this obviously, but there are enough of them moving in that direction to move the needle at least a little bit. Those that are doing this know that keeping employees at home is by far the safest place for them to be. They want to keep themselves from getting into legal trouble, but they also know that much of the business may run just fine powered by employees who are working remotely. It is an experiment that was accidental in nature, but it has worked out in favor of those who have managed to do it so far.
There is nothing more than can be said or done to prevent lawsuits from happening. If someone is dead set on filing a suit and making a claim, they may push forward no matter what. However, business owners should at least understand that they are doing what they can to protect themselves and their employees, and they should take the time to actually take care of their legal affairs before they become a bigger issue.
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