Senate Bill 4 Provides Employers With COVID-19 Liability Protection

Volume: 19 | Issue: 48
August 11, 2020

Section 29 of Senate Bill 4 provides many employers with immunity from civil liability for personal injury or death resulting from COVID-19 exposure if the employer substantially complied with controlling health standards. This protection is available to businesses, nonprofits and government entities (and their officers and employees), but does not apply to schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities. It applies to claims that arose before the effective date of the Bill and continues until the date on which the Governor terminates the emergency set forth in his March 12, 2020 Declaration of Emergency or July 1, 2023, whichever is later.

If the employer was in substantial compliance with controlling health standards, it is immune from liability unless the injured party can prove that the employer violated controlling health standards with gross negligence which was the proximate cause of the injury or death. The court (not a jury) will determine whether the employer was in substantial compliance. Controlling health standards include federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances, and/or a written order or other document published by a federal, state or local government or regulatory body. Substantial compliance means good faith efforts to help control the spread of COVID-19 in conformity with controlling health standards, and may be demonstrated by policies and procedures to enforce and implement the controlling health standards in a reasonable manner.

This portion of Senate Bill 4 is very good news for those Nevada employers who are working hard to comply with the orders and guidance issued by federal, state and local authorities and protect employees and guests as much as possible from COVID-19. If you have questions about this portion of the Bill, contact a KZA attorney.

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.

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