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“No!”  This is the simple answer to whether businesses should force employees to sign COVID-19 liability waivers before returning to the workplace.   Months after our national economy ground to a halt, some parts of the country are returning to work.  Some employers have attempted to insulate themselves from tort liability for COVID-19 related infections by requiring waivers as a condition to allowing workers to return.   Many state workers’ compensation laws forbid such waivers.  In addition, it is likely that such provisions would be deemed unconscionable and unenforceable given the disparity in bargaining power between employers and employees.   In essence, the waiver request forces the employee to sign and potentially give up her/his  legal recourse or refuse to sign and give up the employee’s job.   This issue has yet to be litigated, but we trust that this will change as the legal landscape of COVID-19 related issues unfolds.
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