BIA Asks Governor, Legislators, Policy Leaders for “Safe Harbor” Protection Against COVID-19 LitigationBIA provides Language to Establish Protections for Businesses Operating in “Good Faith” (Concord) –As New Hampshire’s economy begins to reopen, the Business and Industry Association, New Hampshire’s statewide chamber of commerce and leading business advocate, today provided draft language to the Governor, key legislators, and state policy leaders serving on the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief & Recovery (GOFERR) and the Governor’s Economic Reopening Task Force which is aimed at protecting employers from unwarranted COVID-19 related litigation. Calling on the governor to enact an emergency “safe harbor” order, and legislators and policy leaders to endorse similar legislation to protect employers, BIA President Jim Roche said, “New Hampshire employers who are already struggling through the effects of this pandemic should not be further harmed by unwarranted COVID-19 related litigation.” BIA pulled together a working group of private sector business leaders and many of the state’s top business lawyers to draft liability protection language. The group reviewed similar language under consideration in other states to develop language for New Hampshire. The proposed language is intended to protect employers who are making “good faith” efforts to comply with federal and state health guidelines established for their industry sectors. Safer harbor protections would not extend to employers who are guilty of gross negligence, willful misconduct, intentional criminal misconduct, or intentional infliction of harm. In addition to asking Governor Sununu to enact an emergency order to establish liability protections for employers immediately, BIA also requested that policy leaders (including members of GOFERR and the Economic Reopening Task Force) endorse this concept, and legislative leaders take the issue up when the legislature fully reconvenes. “Without safe harbor liability protection, some businesses will be deterred from opening and others from returning to pre-pandemic operations,” said Roche. “This is exactly the opposite of what policy makers hope to achieve.” Follow this link to access BIA draft liability protection language Read the letter to Governor Sununu Read the letter to Commissioner Caswell & Members of the Governor’s Economic Reopening Task Force About the BIA: The Business and Industry Association is New Hampshire’s statewide chamber of commerce and leading business advocate. BIA represents more than 400 leading employers in a variety of industries including manufacturing, technology, professional services, financial services, health care, hospitality and tourism, public utilities, higher education, insurance, and many others. Member firms employ 93,000 people throughout the state and contribute $4.5 billion annually to the state’s economy. While proud of its many large members, 69% of BIA members have an annual payroll of $3 million or less. Through advocacy with state legislators and regulators, BIA works to promote a healthy climate for job creation and a strong New Hampshire economy. For more information about the BIA, visit www.BIAofNH.com.