Oppose Legislative Provision that Provides Businesses with Immunity from COVID-19 Lawsuits

View a DPF of this letter here.

December 4, 2020

Dear Representative:

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the 142 undersigned organizations write to urge you to oppose any legislative provision that provides businesses with immunity from COVID-related lawsuits, including the so-called “Safe to Work” Act. We firmly believe that Congress must act swiftly to address the current COVID-19 crisis and are encouraged to see bipartisan efforts to provide desperately needed relief. However, this relief should not come at the expense of the health and safety of consumers, workers, and patients.

Granting immunity would make the country less safe at the exact moment when the COVID-19 pandemic is entering a new, dangerous phase. This would be the worst time to disincentivize businesses and employers from doing everything they can to protect the health and safety of working people and consumers, including those in nursing homes and other congregate care facilities.

Furthermore, any type of immunity would directly harm Black, Latino, and other workers of color who are overrepresented in “essential” and in-person, reopened jobs—and expose them to increased risk of COVID-19 infection and death. As cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities continue to grow out of control nationwide, and as millions of people continue to face economic catastrophe, it would be shameful to provide protection to actors who fail to take reasonable actions to keep workers and consumers safe. In other words, immunity shifts the burden of these employers’ decisions onto those individuals who, because of a history of structural oppression and economic marginalization, are among the least able to bear the cost of illness and death.

Congress must do all it can to decrease the rate of infection and death, curb the spread of the virus, and provide support and resources to people who are suffering from the health and economic consequences of this pandemic. The inclusion of any part of the “Safe to Work” Act—or any other provision granting businesses and employers any type of immunity—in a COVID relief package is both unnecessary and contrary to responsible public policy. Please see the  previous letter from The Leadership Conference and others on this topic. We urge you to oppose the inclusion of any immunity provision in a COVID package.

Please contact Gaylynn Burroughs, senior policy counsel at The Leadership Conference, at [email protected] with any questions.


The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights


AFT Washington

Alabama Arise

Alianza Nacional de Campesinas

Alliance for Justice

American Association of University Women (AAUW)

Americans for Financial Reform

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO

Bet Tzedek Legal Services

Blue Ridge Legal Services

Border Workers United

Center for Advocacy for the Rights & Interests of the Elderly

Center for Auto Safety

Center for Disability Rights

Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY

Center for Justice & Democracy

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

Center for Medicare Advocacy

Center for Popular Democracy

Center for Public Representation

Centro de los Derechos del Migrante

Colorado Fiscal Institute

Communications Workers of America (CWA)

Community Legal Services of Philadelphia

Consumer Action

Consumer Federation of America

Consumer Federation of California

Consumer Reports

Consumer Watchdog

Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety

CRLA Foundation

CT Working Families Party

Disability Law Center

Disability Law Colorado

Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund

Disability Rights Oregon

Disability Rights South Dakota

Disability Rights Vermont

Earth Action, Inc


Economic Policy Institute

Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)

Equal Justice Center

Equality North Carolina

Every Texan

Family Values @ Work

Food Chain Workers Alliance

Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, &


Futures Without Violence

Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

Harvard Parity Project

HEAL (Health, Environment, Agriculture, Labor) Food Alliance

Hispanic Federation

Impact Fund

Indiana Institute for Working Families


Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Japanese American Citizens League

Justice for Migrant Women

Justice in Aging


KWH Law Center for Social Justice and Change

Labor and Employment Law Association, Seattle University School of Law

LatinoJustice PRLDEF

Legal Services Staff Association, UAW/NOLSW 2320

Legal Voice

Long Beach Alliance for Clean Energy

Long Term Care Community Coalition

LULAC of Iowa – League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa

Maine Small Business Coalition

Make the Road Nevada

Make the Road New York

Maryland Center on Economic Policy

Michigan Nurses Association

Michigan Parity Project

Missionary Oblates USP

Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights


Move to Amend Coalition

MSEA-SEIU Local 1989


NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)


National Association of Consumer Advocates

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities

National Association of Local Long Term Care Ombudsman (NALLTCO)

National Association of State Long Term Care Ombudsman Programs (NASOP)

National CAPACD- National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development

National Center for Law and Economic Justice

National Consumers League

National Continuing Care Residents Association

National Council of Asian Pacific Americans

National Council on Independent Living

National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)

National Domestic Workers Alliance

National Education Association

National Employment Law Project

National Employment Lawyers Association

National Immigration Law Center

National Organization for Women

National Women’s Law Center

National Workrights Institute

Native American Disability Law Center

New York Communities For Change

North Carolina Justice Center

OCA – Asian American Pacific Advocates

Oregon AFL-CIO

Oregon State Council for Retired Citizens/United Seniors of Oregon

Oxfam America

People’s Parity Project

Public Citizen

Public Justice

Public Justice Center

Public Rights Project

SEIU Colorado

SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin

SEIU Local 199

SEIU Oregon

Service Employees International Union

Shriver Center on Poverty Law

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)

South Dakota Voices for Justice

SPLC Action Fund

Tax March

Texas Watch

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

Towards Justice


Unemployment Law Project

Union for Reform Judaism

Union of Concerned Scientists

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW)

Virginia Poverty Law Center

Western New York Council on Occupational Safety And Health

Women Employed

Women’s Law Project

Worker Justice Center of New York

Workers Center of Central NY

Workplace Fairness

Workplace Justice Project at Loyola Law Clinic