White House Doesn’t Want Companies Held Responsible if Workers Contract COVID-19
With significant urging from the President, some seemingly non-essential businesses will be opening their doors over the next few weeks. The state of Georgia looks to be be first with places like nail salons and massage parlors reopening. Other southern states like South Carolina and Tennessee have indicated that they are soon to follow.
While the people who work for these companies will surely be happy to be receiving a paycheck, they will also fear contracting COVID-19. If these workers do contract the illness, though, the White House has signaled that it doesn’t want the employers to be held responsible.
President Trump was asked about the issue during Tuesday’s press briefing. “We just don’t want that because we want the companies to open and to open strong,” he said. “We just don’t want that because we want the companies to open and to open strong. But I’ll get you a legal opinion on that.”
Those sentiments were echoed today by White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow. “Businesses, particularly small businesses that don’t have massive resources, should not be held liable — should not be held to trial lawyers putting on false lawsuits that will probably be thrown out of court,” he told CNBC.
“If something happens, you can’t take them out of business. You can’t throw big lawsuits at them. And I think liability reforms and safeguards are going to be very important part of this. Some of this we can do probably on a regulatory basis. Part of it may require some additional legislation. But that’s a very important point here. Someone has to defend the businesses.”