By Sherry Jordan
October 6, 2020

Pass liability protections for small businesses

Things that fall outside of a business owner’s control pose an imminent vulnerability to lawsuits.

Running a small business is not for the faint of heart. Businesses in Edmond are working hard to operate safely and to keep their employees and their customers healthy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, a lot has changed since the pandemic hit. Instead of continuing to focus on the success and growth of their business, many now spend a lot of their time worrying about another shutdown, employees getting sick, and the constant reassurance that their places of business are safe for everyone.

They worry, however, that everything could change immediately if someone sues them over COVID-19. These businesses are following health and safety guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Oklahoma Department of Health, as necessary. But things that fall outside of a business owner’s control pose an imminent vulnerability to lawsuits. They can’t quiz their employees about their whereabouts outside of work, who they encountered, or demand to see their health records. Also, even if they took the temperature of every customer and employee, they would not catch the asymptomatic carriers.

The Edmond Chamber continues to see the issue of liability protections being raised among businesses. To be clear – the business community is asking for temporary ‘safe harbor’ protections to give employers some degree of assurance that if they follow public health guidelines, they won’t face further financial hardships through unwarranted lawsuits. Bad actors and companies that engage in gross negligence or willful misconduct should be held accountable. We need timely, temporary, and targeted liability protections so people can get back to work, back to school, and on with their lives.

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About Sherry Jordan

Sherry Jordan is the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Edmond Chamber of Commerce. Sherry was promoted to this position in September 2016 and has served in several roles during her 15 years at the Edmond Chamber. Sherry has been the leader for the Chamber’s accreditation process in 2005, 2010 and 2015 which culminated in a 5-star rating. While there are over 8,000 chambers in the US, the Edmond Chamber is one of only 105 chambers to achieve this rating.

Sherry and her husband Brad have been married for 30 years and are parents to two daughters. Taylor is a teacher in Edmond Public Schools and Bailey is currently in medical school at the University of Oklahoma.