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Are Businesses Responsible for the Safety of Their Customers Amidst COVID-19?

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic still being a concern, many businesses are opening their doors to the public. On August 3rd, Gov. Steve Sisolak detailed the plan for long-term recovery in Nevada, explaining which businesses can and can’t be open to the public. Doors are opening, but do businesses have the necessary protocols to ensure their customers are safe?

Not only do businesses have to worry about their employees’ safety, but they also have to be conscientious of customers who may enter the premises without testing, monitoring, and more. Here’s a scenario to consider:

  • A business opens its doors to employees and customers
  • Employees are regularly checked to ensure they don’t have COVID-19, but guests don’t receive testing
  • A guest with COVID-19 enters a business and gives another guest or employee the virus

This type of situation is a real possibility as businesses reopen. But what happens if someone contracts COVID-19? Could the guest or employee who contracted COVID-19 at the business location hold the business responsible for failing to monitor guests’ safety? Is the business responsible should their customers or employees get sick? What if safety protocols were in place and someone still gets sick?

When Someone Gets Sick

With businesses opening, individuals may run the risk of exposure. In the event someone would want to consider legal action against the business, what options exist?

In situations where a customer catches COVID-19 and negligence was present, there may be the potential to file a claim under premises liability laws. However, in this type of scenario, a clear lack of safety protocols or guidelines must play a role in causing the spread of the virus.

Businesses must take the necessary steps to comply with the guidelines set forth by government agencies to reopen safely.

Consumers must recognize their rights. If you contract COVID-19 on someone else’s business property, having a lawyer can help understand where negligence played a role and what compensation may be available.

If an employee becomes sick from on the job exposure to the virus, workers’ compensation insurance should be in place to cover lost wages and medical bills.

The Rights of Customers and Employees

It’s a difficult time for many businesses, and there are numerous uncertainties regarding coronavirus. Unfortunately, there are problems that employees and guests alike face should these businesses not provide proper protocols. Companies should require the use of facial coverings and implementing social distancing.

At Bertoldo, Baker, Carter & Smith, we’re here to help clear up some of the confusion you may experience during this unique situation. While the future is uncertain for everyone, it’s important for businesses to ensure safety is a top priority.

Stay safe out there. If you have a legal issue you need to discuss, call our firm today at (702) 505-8115.

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