Florida Passes Law to Protect Healthcare Workers and Employers from COVID-19 Lawsuits
For a year now governments, healthcare workers, and employers of all sizes have worked hard to implement new protocols to protect employees, customers, students and Americans across the states. However, despite great effort, the risk during a pandemic is still high and opportunistic lawsuits are inevitable.
In Florida this week, a new law went into effect to protect the Sunshine State’s businesses, governments and healthcare workers from COVID-related lawsuits. On Monday, March 29, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill, which requires a plaintiff to prove the defendant deliberately disregarded health guidelines. The legislation ensures that individuals who put themselves on the front lines of the pandemic, especially health care workers, are protected and able to keep doing their essential work. Florida became the 25th state to pass such legislation, with still more governors issuing similar executive orders.
The ALEC model Liability Protection for Employers in a Declared Disaster or Public Emergency Act, provides best practices for protecting employers and healthcare providers from frivolous lawsuits, provided they substantially complied with authoritative or controlling government-issued health standards or guidance, or made a good faith effort to do so. The work on this legislation in statehouses is a small but important step in protecting our health care workers, employers, and essential workers, who have worked so tirelessly and selflessly to protect us.