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Employers Soon To Be Immunized Against Covid-19 Lawsuits

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May 28, 2020

Buzzfeed reports that workers and customers of newly reopened businesses are unlikely to be able to sue if they are inadequately protected from Covid-19 exposure and get sick as a result. There are no federal health and safety rules protecting workers from unsafe conditions nor are there any federal requirements to provide masks or enforce social distancing, and Congress is debating whether to pass sweeping liability reforms to shield employers from coronavirus-related lawsuits.  Employers including hospital groups and fast food franchisors have lobbied hard for legal immunity as the country reopens, but the driving force has been the US Chamber of Commerce. OSHA could step into the breach, but it is led by Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, a former corporate lawyer whose specialty was overturning workplace protections. Scalia formerly lobbied on behalf of the Chamber and represented the group several times.

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