In the last two years, the way we live and do business 😷 has changed a lot. Hopefully, things will get back to normal soon 🙏. For now, whether you’re hiring or hosting people in your business, you need to protect everyone with a COVID liability waiver.
Despite social distancing and other safeguards, you might face claims of negligence without the proper legal documents, even if your COVID-19 policies are sound. An effective waiver that covers all the key components can shield you and those around 👥 you from litigation should a COVID-19 outbreak occur. Here’s what yours should include!
What Is a COVID Liability Waiver?
A COVID-19 liability waiver can protect a business owner from getting sued because of a COVID-19 issue at work. Without protection against liability, you may receive a lawsuit ⚖️ for criminal misconduct as per the applicable government standards outlined in the COVID-19 liability Safe Harbor Act. You don’t want that!
You have to do what you can to create a safe workspace, but you also have to protect your businesses from disciplinary action that could potentially bankrupt them. The last thing you want is to have to seek legal advice 👀 after a disgruntled COVID-19 positive person comes after you. That’s why it’s best to keep your business entities legally secure with a COVID waiver.
A COVID liability waiver applies to most organizations 🙂 that do any face-to-face work. It is pretty much the same from business to business, though a few variations exist here and there depending on the type of organization or cultural institution.
5 Components of an Effective COVID Liability Waiver
When looking for a good COVID liability waiver, remember to cover your bases to avoid dealing with civil lawsuits. Although nothing can provide a 100% defense to lawsuits, there’s a reason COVID-19 and liability waivers seem to go hand in hand. Here’s what you don’t want to miss.
1. Highlight the Risks
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is a part of our lives right now and we need to live with its possible inherent risks 🤦. Pretty everyone can get affected by the virus, and people need to limit physical interactions to minimize the spread of the virus.
Your waiver needs to inform people about COVID-19 hazards. Remember to let people know that while you try to create a safe workplace, their involvement does come with health risks. They need to know the possible risk and take responsibility for them 🤙. By showing that the person understands the risks and agrees that you and your company aren’t responsible for them, you can mitigate potential lawsuits due to COVID-related personal injuries.
2. Ask Everyone to Self-Monitor
Whether you have people participating, volunteering, or applying for jobs, ask them to self-monitor when around your business entity. You need to have them sign off ✍ agreeing that they will do this and will contact you when they experience any COVID-19 symptoms. You may want to include additional perimeters for workers without the COVID-19 vaccination, such as regular testing.
Medical professionals emphasize the need for self-monitoring since it serves as an affirmative defense for any infection spread. Asking everyone to watch out for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 infection helps to keep everyone safe from any COVID-19. It also helps control your liabilities by making it clear that the risk of contracting COVID doesn’t fall on your business.
In this section of your waiver, you can add that if someone notices symptoms, they should seek appropriate medical care from a healthcare provider. You can also mention that this must happen within 14 days as per public health guidelines 🤗. In the event of confirmed COVID-19 cases, this person also has the responsibility of quarantining.
3. Remember Medical Acknowledgment
In this section, you can make it clear that the organization won’t take responsibility for any COVID-19 related claim due to ordinary negligence or intentional disregard of safeguards. If a COVID-19 positive worker flouts your policy and infects others or gets really sick, that is on them according to this section.
Participants need to agree to seek medical attention if they experience any symptoms related to the virus 🤒. They also need to release any claim if first aid is given in connection with the COVID-19 emergency. This may also cover issues to do with compensation claims.
4. Keep It Voluntary
This part of the document 📃 needs to outline that you didn’t force anyone to agree to the waivers of liability. Instead, the person signing does so willingly without influence from business owners or a government entity. The participant’s release on their liability waiver forms must be completely voluntary to be legally sound. This along with the release of claims leaves you in a better legal position 👌.
5. Don’t Forget Release of Claims
This part is the most important 🙌 when seeking legal protections from those that operate in your business. Everyone who works with you must release any COVID-19 claims, demands, or liability against your organization or nonprofit entity. Include the statute of limitations for professional discipline for good measure.
Other COVID-19 Virus Protection Forms
Want to do even more to protect your business? There are lots of other customer agreements and worker forms you could implement to prevent concerns about workplace safety. Other related documents and policies include the following, though not all of these constitute a contractual agreement.
- COVID-19 training
- A COVID-19 vaccine consent form (if your business mandates vaccines)
- COVID-19 client health questionnaire
- A COVID-19 intake form
- Business-specific forms like a COVID-19 massage therapy form or dance studio COVID-19 release form
Do You Need Help with COVID Liability Waivers?
Creating good COVID-19 protocols for your business can help prevent COVID-19 personal injury lawsuits. But, in the end, that may not be enough protection. Creating a COVID liability waiver for your business activities is crucial. It provides better protection from a COVID-19 lawsuit than a simple COVID policy does.
COVID-19 liability claims can sink a business! That’s why a COVID-19 liability release waiver is a must if your business does any face-to-face interaction.
If you need help setting up an effective COVID-19 liability waiver, consider hiring a social media attorney 🤵. At Ian Corzine, we’ll help ensure you understand all the legal aspects 😬 of COVID liability. To get started, just book ✍ a consultation with us here or purchase this customized COVID liability template from us!