In an effort to encourage businesses to reopen and jump-start the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing number of states are enacting laws that give employers immunity from civil lawsuits brought by employees or customers who might allege that they were exposed to or contracted the virus due to some action or inaction by the business.
Currently, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming have some type of COVID-19 employer immunity law on the books, with states like Arizona and Georgia poised to enact similar legislation in the near future. In addition to these broader laws, we should also note that nearly half the states provide COVID-19 related immunity specifically for employers in the health care or emergency response industries.
While these general immunity laws vary, most provide that businesses who follow published COVID-19 government guidance will be immune from lawsuits, so long as their conduct doesn’t rise to the level of gross negligence and couldn’t be considered intentional.
Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.