NCC this week joined a broad coalition of organizations representing essential critical infrastructure industries in sending a letter to congressional leadership in support of the SAFE to WORK ACT, S. 4317, which would ensure that businesses that made reasonable, good faith efforts to protect customers and employees from the spread of COVID-19 are protected from frivolous legal claims arising from events occurring at any point during this national emergency.

The bill was introduced this week by Senator Cornyn (R-TX) as part of Majority Leader McConnell’s (R-KY) roughly $1 trillion Covid Aid proposal, the HEALS Act (Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools). It would also put important procedural protections in place that will ensure that America’s businesses are not inundated with and pressured to settle meritless lawsuits.

Speaking about the SAFE to WORK Act on the Senate Floor this week, Leader McConnell stated: “And, tying kids, jobs, and healthcare all together, Senator Cornyn has authored strong legal liability protections so that nurses, doctors, charities, school districts, colleges, and employers can spend their next months actually reopening rather than fighting for their lives against frivolous lawsuits.”

His full remarks can be read here.

There is still a road ahead for the SAFE to WORK Act and the broader aid package, as Democrats and Republicans continue negotiations up until the Congressional August Recess, which is scheduled to begin on August 10. The SAFE to WORK Act is simply part of the draft proposal, which could change throughout negotiations.

It is unclear if and when the Senate will vote on the package. Once legislation is passed by the Senate, it will have to be reconciled in conference with the bill the House passed on May 15, 2020, known as the HEROES Act, before the final package could be sent to the President for his signature.