As coronavirus-related restrictions are rolled back, employers of all sizes are getting ready to welcome back their employees. Yet, for those businesses and their counterparts who have remained in operation with more limited staff, it won’t be “business as usual.” Companies taking on the challenges of resuming their services may also find themselves fending off lawsuits filed by their own staff.
A Line in the Sand to Protect Employers
Stimulus money has helped people get through a pandemic. The last package was passed with near unanimity, a rare display of lawmakers coming together in a crisis. Additional proposals to put more money in the hands of the people are being pushed forward. However, pushback exists over an issue that could serve as severe setbacks for employers.
Liability protection has become the “line in the sand” to prevent an onslaught of litigation against employers already experiencing financial losses due to COVID-19. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other prominent players are backing the idea of putting restrictions against lawsuits filed by workers and customers.
Supporters claim that what could be countless legal actions will only serve as setbacks for businesses and slow, if not stop, the re-growth of their respective relaunches. Many could bankrupt companies of all sizes, leaving their employees without jobs and increase an already skyrocketing unemployment rate.
Labor and business representatives claim that the balancing act between enforcing rules that provide workers recourse to pursue litigation and much-needed reforms to the liability system is possible. Protection against some lawsuits, even for a limited time, could help businesses take the necessary “baby steps” to reopen or operate with full staffing.