COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina business owners say they worry about what will happen if a customer or employee gets sick with COVID-19.
They’re asking lawmakers for help by developing guidelines that would protect them and the public.
South Carolina lawmakers are working on a bill to protect businesses from lawsuits related to COVID-19. Many businesses are hesitant to open, because they fear reopening will make them vulnerable to being sued.
At least 16 lawsuits related to COVID-19 have already been filed in the state.
Some businesses say the threat of more legal action during the pandemic will slow business and put them in jeopardy. Lawmakers have taken input from several industries as they draft legislation that sets safety guidelines.
They hope that by setting firm rules, those businesses that follow them may be protected from lawsuits.
“We have to get this right, the public has to be protected,” said Rep. Jason Elliot of COVID-19 Liability Protection Committee. “We also have to create an environment where businesses can open responsibly and be protected from lawsuits being filed out of harassment knowing this is a public crisis.”
The senate is also working on its own version of a business safe harbor bill. The bill would not only apply to customers, but for employees as well.
It is not just limited to store front businesses, but government buildings, entertainment venues and attractions would also be covered under this proposal.