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Rep. Filler: Plan to protect Michigan workers, job providers from frivolous COVID-19 lawsuits advances
RELEASE|September 23, 2020
Contact: Graham Filler

State Rep. Graham Filler today helped lead the Michigan House in approving a bipartisan plan to protect businesses, universities, non-profit organizations, child care centers and other Michigan job providers from becoming the target of unwarranted lawsuits related to COVID-19.

Filler, of DeWitt, said job providers throughout Michigan have been hit hard by the coronavirus and the mandatory shutdowns it caused. Now that most have begun to reopen, many job providers are worried about the possibility of facing lawsuits related to COVID-19 even though they have been following the recommended health and safety protocols.

“The mom and pop shops in all of our communities need our help to reopen and stay open,” Filler said. “We must have the backs of our small businesses and their employees as they return to work, help families make ends meet and keep food on the tables of our friends and neighbors. Because of the pandemic, many of them are struggling with fewer employees, supply chain problems, razor thin margins, and less customers. A flood of frivolous lawsuits would bankrupt already-struggling job providers and put more people out of work.”

Under House Bills 6030-32 and 6101, job providers cannot be held liable for lawsuits related to the COVID-19 pandemic if they are taking reasonable steps to follow public health guidelines. The plan also provides more certainty for workers by preventing employers from taking adverse action against employees for following health protocols related to COVID-19.

“Responsible employers who are taking precautions to safeguard their workers and the public deserve to have reasonable legal protections against unwarranted lawsuits,” said Filler, who chairs the House Judiciary and worked with experts on all sides of the issue to fine-tune the legislation. “It is just as critical to ensure people who work to support their families know they will not be punished for following public health protocols.”

The plan now advances to the Senate for further consideration.

PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Graham Filler gives a speech in support of his plan to protect businesses, universities, non-profit organizations, child care centers and other Michigan job providers from becoming the target of unwarranted lawsuits related to COVID-19

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