Schumer Blasts Scaled-Back Republican Bill That Contains Corporate Immunity Proposal

CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY, NOT IMMUNITY

Welcome to the latest edition of “Corporate Accountability, Not Immunity,” a tipsheet highlighting key news and important facts on why Congress should not give corporations legal immunity from coronavirus-related harms to workers, consumers, patients and the public. See our past tipsheets here. The tipsheet will go out on Mondays and Thursdays through mid-September. Please send tips, feedback and questions to David Rosen at drosen@citizen.org.

SCHUMER BLASTS SCALED-BACK REPUBLICAN RELIEF BILL: U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) blasted Senate Republicans’ latest coronavirus relief proposal in a letter to Democratic colleagues. “As the pandemic continues to spread and our economy continues to falter, the American people need our help and deserve a bipartisan and bicameral bill that meets the needs of the nation,” Schumer wrote. The Senate is set to return from its summer recess next week, and Republicans are considering a floor vote on the narrowed version of the bill, which includes the corporate immunity proposal that Democrats in both chambers of Congress overwhelmingly oppose.

VIRGINIA CORPORATE IMMUNITY BILL DEFEATED: A Virginia State Senate bill to grant corporations immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits was tabled this week thanks to the hard work of labor organizations and worker advocacy groups that opposed the bill.

IF A WORKER CAN PROVE THEIR EMPLOYER WAS NEGLIGENT, THE EMPLOYER SHOULD BE LIABLE: “Let’s get real: An employee who contracts coronavirus cannot just file a lawsuit against his or her employer unless the employee can prove the employer was negligent,” Lawrence Berman wrote in a letter to the editor to the Washington Post. “The employee must prove (by a preponderance of the evidence – not an easy task) that the employer’s actions were directly responsible for the employee’s getting the coronavirus. If the employee can prove this, why shouldn’t the employer be liable? Don’t we want employers to maintain a safe working environment? Giving employers a blanket waiver of liability would only promote unsafe working conditions.”