NJCPA Advocates for Business Liability Protections

 – June 16, 2020
NJCPA Advocates for Business Liability Protections

The New Jersey Society of CPAs on June 16 sent the following letter to members of New Jersey's Congressional delegation in support of liability reforms to protect employers that act in good faith from pandemic-related lawsuits.

Dear Members of the NJ Congressional Delegation:

On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of businesses that members of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) serve, we urge you to support businesses and their employees by passing targeted, common-sense liability reforms to protect against abuses of the legal system that would punish employers who are good actors and working tirelessly to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our 14,000 members and the clients they serve have done their best to contribute the services and products necessary to serve the public amid a cloud of unclear and shifting rules and requirements placed on businesses. Under tough circumstances, they have risen to the moment to ensure our state’s continued functioning during this difficult time in our history.

That is why we are asking you to support their economic recovery by providing businesses in New Jersey with limited and rational protections against lawsuits that threaten to shut down or put out of business the industries that have contributed so much in our struggle against the coronavirus. Businesses that act in good faith to protect employees and customers and follow available guidelines should not be exposed to unlimited liability and costly legal fees for trying to do the right thing.

If Congress does not act to protect businesses against abusive lawsuits for a pandemic beyond anyone’s control, we fear that the recovery will be significantly slowed and innocent businesses will be greatly harmed.

Providing businesses with targeted and limited liability protections, such as safe harbors, is not the same thing as shielding companies from liability for bad acts. We do not seek any reforms that would protect businesses that operate in reckless or intentional disregard of available guidance on reducing the spread of COVID-19. However, the plaintiff’s bar should not be allowed to take advantage of this worldwide crisis by exploiting the worst public health emergency of our lifetimes.

On behalf of our members and their clients, we urge you to provide businesses with the certainty that they can continue to operate safely without having to fear those efforts being undone by potential liability and exorbitant legal fees.

Thank you for your consideration and continued support of New Jersey residents during this unprecedented health crisis.