Burgum signs bill protecting businesses from COVID lawsuits

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After a bill signing Friday, it’ll soon be law that you can’t sue your employer if you got COVID-19 at work.

The governor endorsed a bill granting businesses and health care providers liability protection from COVID claims. Moving forward, employers and health care facilities will be immune from lawsuits brought by those who claim they were exposed to the virus.

Lawmakers who spoke at the bill signing say it’s not a “get out of jail free” card for businesses that were negligent or put employees at risk, but rather, an assurance that they won’t be hit with a lawsuit after already experiencing a difficult year.

“We had some business closures, and when we opened up in May again, people needed to get back to work. Business owners needed to provide for their families. Were they taking a risk? They weren’t sure what type of risk they were taking. All they knew is they needed to provide for their families and provide an opportunity for their employers, and they did not need the fear or threat of a potential lawsuit to hinder their growth, or to hinder the state economy,” Rep. Mike Howe said.

The law applies retroactively to January 2020, so the entirety of the pandemic is covered by the law.

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