As more and more employees are returning to offices and workplaces, employers are naturally concerned about whether they might face lawsuits from employees who believe they contracted COVID-19 on the job. In many situations, companies have people sign liability waivers protecting the business from legal action if certain injuries happen. But is it wise to try to have employees sign COVID-19 liability waivers? You should discuss specific questions on the matter with a Walnut Creek employment lawyer.
Many liability waivers are unenforceable in the employment relationship, as the law recognizes that employers have superior bargaining power. In addition, a waiver would not allow you to:
While there are some situations in which a court might uphold a COVID-19 liability waiver and dismiss legal action against your business, it is more likely that such waivers can be found unenforceable.
If it is time for employees to report to work again, and your business is requesting them to sign waivers, it might send negative messages to the workforce. Specifically, employees might assume your company is not planning on following COVID-19 guidelines, or that you are placing the economic well-being of the business above employee health and wellness. This might result in high turnover, lower productivity, and other unanticipated adverse effects. Always consider how any requests can impact employee morale, as a dip in morale can impact your bottom line.
If you decrease employee morale and trust with waivers that might never be enforceable, it can be costly for your business. Always seek guidance from a Walnut Creek employment lawyer from Yudien Law Firm, P.C., regarding your specific questions. Contact us online or call 925.472.0600 today.