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Can Businesses Defend Themselves Against COVID-19 Lawsuits?

The numbers for COVID-19 are rising every day, with a growing death toll to go along with it. It’s not surprising that the US population is worried about themselves and their loved ones every time they take the chance and walk out the door to go to work. 

Now businesses face new hurdles that they haven’t had to deal with before — how do you protect your business from COVID-19 related lawsuits?

What happens when an employee gets COVID-19 and realizes their company may be at fault? What if a customer catches the virus while they are in your establishment?

Unfortunately, most of the answers to those questions are still a little murky and untested. It’s clear that you need to take appropriate precautions to ensure your customer and employee safety, but how much does that protect your business from lawsuits?

Company Responsibility

The current legislation at both the federal and state levels varies drastically, but one thing is clear — “gross negligence” on your part isn’t covered.

There are a few steps you can take to be more responsible.

Step 1. CDC Guidelines

Following proper CDC guidelines is paramount. While the rule and regulations are changing daily, it is up to the company to know and inform everyone of the new steps needing to be taken to protect themselves against possibly contracting the virus. 

Step 2. Local Laws

Know their local laws. The laws evolve with the growing numbers and change with the number of people in the area who have tested positive for COVID-19.  

It is a company’s responsibility to ensure they know how many people can be in their space, what hours they can operate, updated health and safety standards, and how to coordinate staff to adhere to the standards set by local laws. They have to stay up-to-date as new laws and mandates come down from officials.

Step 3. Employee Protection

The third step is to ensure all employees follow the rules they have set in place for personal protective equipment (PPE) and what the procedures are if an employee is possibly exposed. It is your responsibility to ensure that your employees are wearing proper PPE at all times when they are on your property.

Your company has to respect the privacy of their employees’ health, but they also have to protect the staff and customers. Keeping aware of employees’ health lessens the risk of exposing several other staff members and consumers coming into their stores or dining areas.  

Step 4. Exposure Events

The fourth step is informing the staff if management and owners have been notified of a possible exposure event. A business must keep employees up-to-date about the knowledge of people coming in with COVID-19 for their employees to see medical attention as soon as possible and quarantine against those at-risk in their homes.

Get Legal Advice

Things are continually changing as we learn more about the novel Coronavirus. Guidelines and legal requirements will be adjusting in real time as everyone learns how to respond appropriately.

Hann Law is a San Jose law firm committed to keeping your best interests at the forefront of every case. We are dedicated to helping you navigate a challenging and difficult time. Protect your business and your future – Contact us today and let us fight for YOU.

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