Proposed COVID-19 Limited Liability Reform

POSITION STATEMENT
Proposed COVID-19 Limited Liability Reform
Federal Level: HEALS Act or Other Similar Liability Reform Legislation
State Level: SB 1239
August 2020

On behalf of our Board of Directors and our members with over 120,000 employees, who continue to navigate through uncertainties and the future of our economy, we ask our elected official delegation at the state and federal levels again to support a legislative solution for a projected legal barrier as we pilot re-opening under the continuing threat of COVID-19.

The barrier to re-strengthening the business community is being the target of coronavirus-related lawsuits while doing the level-best to reopen safely and keep employees safe in the process. The solution is the passage of both Federal and State targeted, timely and temporary legislation that would provide coverage to employers facing liability lawsuits. These lawsuits would only be followed by time consuming and costly litigation.

Our Position:

The Harrisburg Regional Chamber supports the liability protections outlined in the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act introduced at the Federal Level by Senate Republicans or other legislation proposed at this level (i.e. The “SAFE TO WORK” Act) protecting the business community acting in good faith and following all healthcare protocol outlined by the appropriate authorities.

The Harrisburg Regional Chamber also supports Senate Bill 1239 introduced by State Senator Lisa Baker (R-20) which would provide “limited COVID-19-related liability to manufacturers and others who provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), certain medical services, and who have opened up their businesses and followed CDC guidelines.”

Our immediate future calls for Congress and the Pennsylvania General Assembly to provide limited temporary relief by expanding liability provisions to protect businesses acting in good faith during these unprecedented times while following the guidelines outlined by the CDC, OSHA, and Commonwealth authorities.

We acknowledge individuals or businesses who operate in reckless or intentional contempt of available guidance on reducing the spread of Coronavirus should not be protected from liability.

We encourage liability protections that are appropriately tailored and limited to the present emergency and a reasonable period of recovery.

The Harrisburg Regional Chamber is committed to the safe reopening of business and sensible rules that protect businesses during this time through partnerships with legislators at all levels.

We believe this is a reasonable request on behalf of the business community.

We are working in conjunction with the PA Chamber of Business and Industry and the US Chamber of Commerce on this issue.

We thank you for your dedicated service to our region, state and nation in this time of crisis. If we can provide additional information, please let us know.