Most States to Offer Businesses COVID Protection

Fifteen states have adopted laws that provide businesses a level of civil liability protection from COVID-19 claims. They are Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Michigan, West Virginia, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, and Utah.

In South Dakota, a bill awaits the governor’s signature.

Another 23 states have pending legislation to provide businesses protection against claims. They are Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New Hampshire, Illinois, Kentucky, Texas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Wisconsin, Wyoming, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.

As a similar bill moves through the process in Arkansas, an executive order from Gov. Asa Hutchinson provides civil immunity to businesses.

Several states also are considering additional bills related to COVID-19.

Vaccine mandates. Washington, Montana, Minnesota, Connecticut, and Oklahoma are considering bills prohibiting vaccine mandates.

Vaccine Passports. Montana and Connecticut are considering a ban on requiring proof of vaccination. Florida has an executive order that outlaws such passports.

Vaccine Status Discrimination. Nine states are considering laws that would prohibit adverse action against employees based upon vaccine status. They are South Dakota, Michigan, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, and Texas.

Vaccine Requirement for Employment. Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi, and Arizona are considering bills that prohibit requiring vaccines as a means of employment.

Workers Compensation. Illinois is reviewing a bill that amends workers compensation law so an employee would not be compensated due to COVID-19 exposure.

Liability for Requiring Vaccine. Louisiana is considering a bill that would create civil liability for employers that require the COVID-19 vaccine.

Right to Opt Out. Pennsylvania is considering a bill that allows employees to opt out of a vaccine if an employer requires it.