American business owners have been battling uncertainty for more than five months now. Legislators in Washington, D.C., have made some effort to ease the pain caused by COVID-19, but more needs to be done. This is especially true when it comes to business liability.
Many small- and medium-sized business owners worry that reopening too soon could expose customers or employees to the virus. This in turn could lead to lawsuits, lengthy court battles and hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in legal fees. The situation is even more challenging because businesses want to open. Everyone wants to return to some semblance of normalcy, but without guaranteed protections, doing so is incredibly risky.
One proposal that’s making its way through Congress is the “Get America Back to Work Act” (H.R.7528). This bipartisan legislation was introduced by Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Garrett Graves on July 9 and provides reasonable liability protection to businesses from COVID-19 claims.
To be clear, this bill only supports businesses that make a “good faith” effort to comply with federal, state and local guidance in terms of cleaning, sanitation and appropriate industry standards. In no way does it support businesses that are willfully negligent or participating in criminal activities.
PMAA and WPMA fully support this bill. If some type of business liability legislation doesn’t pass, it puts gas station owners, petroleum marketers and others in our industry at risk. If we want to get back to business and restore the economy, protective measures such as H.R. 7528 must be implemented.
Do you agree? If so, we could use your help. Right now is the perfect time to contact your state representative and let them know you support the Get America Back to Work Act. PMAA has already prepared a form letter. All you need to do is fill out your personal information and click send. It’s that easy. Click here to get started!