Want Workers To Sign COVID-19 Waivers? Don't Go There.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

David Barron spoke with Law360 about whether employers should have employees sign COVID-19 liability waivers. "There's really almost no chance of them being enforced," said David. "The corollary to that is it's just evidence [workers] may use against you." David said many employers have asked about limiting these risks by imposing liability waivers. He's advised clients against using them for several reasons, including their limited utility. Many state workers' compensation laws forbid waivers, and judges are apt to say such contracts are unfair even in jurisdictions that don't explicitly bar them, he said. Even worse for employers, they could backfire. "It's something that good plaintiffs lawyers would use," he said. "Let's just say someone is sick. If they take time off and they get fired, [the waiver could be] evidence that you're not taking it seriously or you're looking to punish workers who do have COVID."

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