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NLA Signs Letter Supporting "Safe to Work Act"

Friday, July 31, 2020   (0 Comments)
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July 30, 2020


The undersigned organizations urge you to support the timely, targeted, and temporary liability relief provisions contained in S. 4317, the “SAFE TO WORK Act.” These crucial protections would safeguard healthcare workers, providers, and facilities, as well as businesses, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions against unfair lawsuits so they can continue to contribute to a safe and effective economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation is critically needed and should be enacted as soon as possible. To that end, we strongly urge you to support the inclusion of these provisions in a Phase IV COVID-19 relief package.

Healthcare workers and facilities continue to work tirelessly to protect us from COVID-19 and provide care and treatment to those who become ill. Likewise, businesses and non-profit organizations of all types and sizes continue to adapt in incredible ways to safely provide their communities with much-needed goods and services, in addition to keeping workers employed and the American economy afloat. But, as those workers and businesses keep our communities safe and provided for, our members and constituencies remain concerned that, despite doing their best to follow applicable government guidelines, they will be forced to defend against an onslaught of frivolous lawsuits. Unfortunately, this concern has already begun to materialize.

COVID-19-related lawsuits and their consequent exorbitant legal costs could deter entities from reopening and could ultimately cripple businesses, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations both large and small. Furthermore, absent the proposed liability protections, many frontline healthcare workers and facilities, as well as manufacturers of critical personal protective equipment, would be punished for their efforts in the form of costly lawsuits.

The temporary and targeted liability relief provisions contained in S. 4317 are balanced and would ensure that unfair lawsuits against those who work to comply with applicable governmental guidelines do not impede the American people’s health, social, and economic recovery. Importantly, the protections contained in this legislation are limited in duration and scope. They are not permanent changes to federal law. Furthermore, they allow states to provide additional protections if they so choose and, critically, preserve reasonable recourse for those harmed by truly bad actors.

In the wake of prior crises, Congress came together to pass needed liability protections with strong bipartisan support because lawmakers understood the acute threat of lawsuits at moments of maximum economic vulnerability. That threat is present again now, perhaps more than ever. As such, now is the time for Congress to take strong action and provide a national baseline of protection during this national pandemic to stop a growing wave of lawsuits from inhibiting our return to a robust economy and healthy citizenry.








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