News & Updates - Broad Coalition Asks Congress to Provide Liability Relief In Next Stimulus Package

July 20, 2020


Broad Coalition Asks Congress to Provide Liability Relief In
Next Stimulus Package

SACRAMENTO—A broad-based coalition of statewide, regional and local business groups are calling on Congress to include comprehensive liability relief in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation.

“As California and the rest of the nation cycle through stages of closures and re-openings, it is even more critical that Congress provides liability relief so our businesses can continue to operate without the threat of frivolous lawsuits,” said Rachel Michelin, president of the California Retailers Association. “Retailers providing critical services across the nation have made significant investments to improve the health and safety of both customers and employees. At the same time, they continue to navigate ever-changing local, state and federal regulations. During these dynamic times, businesses operating in good faith need certainty so they can continue to provide essential goods and services.”

In a letter issued today, more than 20 statewide, regional and local business groups are asking Congress to pass meaningful COVID-19 relief that helps provide additional and appropriate funding to local governments suffering significant revenue loss as well as necessary litigation relief to allow businesses to operate safely and in compliance with state and local regulations.

The coalition is also asking for liability relief for businesses that are transitioning their workforces to telecommuting in compliance with stay-at-home orders.

“Current laws and regulations, especially in California, create significant legal concerns for businesses transitioning to work-from-home options. The status quo benefits higher-wage salaried employees for whom the 8-hour work day and meal and rest breaks are not as stringently regulated. Work-from-home options should be available for all employees, including lower-wage hourly workers disproportionately affected by the outbreak already. Liability relief will provide confidence and certainty for employers, which will help in turn keep more residents employed now and facilitate faster economic recovery,” said Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable, which represents California’s large employers.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

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