Coronavirus Government Response Update—First Wave of Workplace Lawsuits Filed

August 6, 2020 Coronavirus Government Response Update—First Wave of Workplace Lawsuits Filed

Welcome to the Coronavirus Government Response Update. This information is intended to keep ISSA members up to date on fast-moving government affairs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other public policy issues important to the cleaning industry. Today’s update touches on the first wave of coronavirus-related lawsuits against businesses, the liability protection bill expected to be signed by Nevada’s governor, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell’s proclamation on the importance of wearing masks, and more

First Wave of COVID-19 Workplace Lawsuits is Here
A wave of workers around the country are filing lawsuits claiming they caught the novel coronavirus as a result of their employer’s negligence. Whether employers followed state and federal guidance for reducing the virus’ spread, such as the use of face masks and social distancing, are central to these early lawsuits, and the employers that failed to adhere to the guidance potentially may be found liable in court. According to the Advisory Board, around 69 lawsuits claiming that employees were exposed or potentially exposed to the coronavirus had been filed as of late July. Achieving liability relief as related to COVID-19 is a legislative priority for ISSA.

Nevada Passes Liability Protection Bill; Governor Sisolak Expected to Sign
In an effort to ensure businesses can reopen safely without worrying about potential coronavirus-related lawsuits, Nevada lawmakers passed liability protections for most businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies as long as they follow health standards set by local, state, and federal authorities and aren’t guilty of “gross negligence.”

McConnell: Wearing a Mask is ‘Single Most Significant Thing’ to Fight Pandemic
On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY-R) proclaimed that wearing a mask is the single most important thing Americans can do to contain the coronavirus pandemic and reboot the U.S. economic engine. “I’ve been promoting mask wearing, we’ve been doing it in the Senate since the first of May when we resumed in-person sessions. It’s the single most significant thing everybody in the country can do to help prevent the spread,” McConnell said.” “Wear a mask, practice social distancing,” he added.

White House Threatens Executive Action If No Coronavirus Relief Deal Reached with Democrats
The White House threatened to take matters in its own hands regarding coronavirus economic relief after another day of talks with Democrats ended without a deal on Wednesday. After the meeting, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said if an agreement is not met, U.S. President Donald Trump would take executive action to extend both extra jobless benefits and the eviction moratorium. According to CNBC, the threat may be a “negotiating tactic” because it is “unclear if Trump has the power to take those steps.”

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