Businesses, like individuals, are struggling to make sense of the “new normal” as dictated by Covid-19. In addition to closures, furloughed staff, and decreased sales, businesses are expected to master the various phases of re-opening and consider the potential for COVID-related liability.
For businesses, navigating all of the rules of re-opening can be daunting. Social distancing guidelines and other restrictions are sometimes complicated and stressful. In addition to following all of the newly-mandated safety measures, waivers are a step worth your consideration. Though you may think it highly unlikely your business will come under scrutiny, waivers can give you some peace of mind and legal recourse in the event that Covid-19 is traced to your services or premises.
Covid-19 Specific Waivers
Some businesses are already familiar with customer waivers that address the potential risk of injury on the premises. Gyms or companies offering outdoor adventures are just a few examples. However, the risk of Covid-19 presents new threats and challenges to businesses that have never had a need for waivers in the past.
A COVID-19-specific waiver must have the correct language in order to hold up in court. A contractual waiver of liability as it regards to the transmission of Covid-19 should mention the highly contagious nature of the virus and specific details on how it spreads. By signing, the customer assumes all liability and confirms their understanding of the potential risks associated with Covid-19. The language is incredibly important because courts typically do not favor liability wavers. However, if the waiver’s phrasing is far and clear, it should hold up.
Waivers As A Precautionary Measure
Waivers are just one of many tools in your Covid-19 toolkit. Naturally, they aren’t intended to replace proper safety measures, sanitary practices, or precautions. Both employees and customers should be well aware of any and all necessary measures including social distancing, mask-wearing, thorough cleaning, surface-sanitizing, and any other regulations required by your city and state.
However, even when all guidelines are carefully and properly followed, unfortunate instances can occur. Having a COVID-19-specific waiver for your business might be the precautionary measure that saves you from liability in someone’s COVID-related sickness, injury, or death.
Waivers As A Way Of Life
It’s not just businesses that are being encouraged to provide waivers with COVID-19-specific language. Some schools and universities are asking students to sign waivers as a preventative measure against lawsuits. Recently, large gatherings like political rallies have also required that attendees sign waivers that relate to the spread of Covid-19 and the risks inherent in large gatherings.
Concerns over being sued are at fever-pitch as the spread of Covid-19 remains both inevitable and unpredictable. The best path forward seems to be continued strict adherence to all suggested safety precautions and guidelines. But the addition of a liability waiver does more than just protect your business. It reminds each and every one of your customers that the spread of Covid-19 has not halted and safety precautions remain a top priority.