As the nation begins to re-open and many industries welcome their workers back into offices, many employers are considering asking their employees to sign a COVID-19 waiver. This is a type of liability waiver which would state in unambiguous terms that the employee would be responsible for their own economic damages should they contract COVID-19 in the workplace. This type of waivers is not seen everywhere, but they are rightfully giving many employees pause.
It can be demoralizing to think that if you contract this highly contagious and deadly disease in the course of your job duties your employer could fail to take responsibility. But for many families facing the end of unemployment benefits, returning to work may be the only choice.
Below is a list of pros and cons surrounding COVID-19 waivers, which should help you decide whether or not you are willing to sign.
- If your employer requires it, signing a COVID-19 waiver will get you back to work faster and will save you from having to find another job.
- Liability waivers do not cover negligent behavior, so if your employer fails to follow federal safety guidelines surrounding COVID-19, the liability will likely become unenforceable.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to keep workplaces free of recognized hazards. It is highly likely that courts will consider the Coronavirus a recognized hazard if this type of case is ever brought before a judge.
- If you contract the virus at work despite reasonable safety measures, you may not be able to seek damages or file for worker’s compensation in your state.
- It is possible to contract this highly contagious virus at work while doing something outside of the direct scope of your job, at which point your employer will not have to cover you.
- It will likely make you feel unsafe and unprotected in your workplace, which rarely elicits the best work out of employees.
Ultimately, the decision to sign or not sign a COVID-19 waiver is a personal one but, should you contract COVID-19 in the workplace, you can always call the legal team at Golden Circle Law in Santa Ana for help and representation. We specialize in workers’ compensation cases and, we will help you fight for damages with everything we’ve got.