By Bob Katzen
The Judiciary Committee is looking at a measure that would provide immunity to contractors and sub-contractors from any suit or civil liability for damages that occur during the period of the COVID-19 and six months after that. The bill lists several reasons including unforeseeable shortages in available workforce; unavoidable schedule changes resulting from federal, state or local government orders; contractor/sub-contractor compliance with federal, state and local government orders; Massachusetts’ Stay at Home order, and related orders to close businesses.
“As we slowly re-open sectors of our economy, we must be mindful of the ongoing public health crisis and the danger faced by workers of the construction sector,” said Senate sponsor Sen. Paul Feeney (D-Foxboro). “I know that many contractors and sub-contractors recognize how important it is to protect the health of their workers and many have acted swiftly to put in place additional procedures and equipment. With worker safety and protection as our top priority, we want to ensure that employers are protected from liability for doing the right thing on behalf of their workers.”
“It is critical that the construction industry and sector follow all COVID-19 safety guidelines exactly, and in doing so they should not be held responsible for delays in construction due to the current pandemic we are facing,” said House sponsor Rep. Linda Campbell (D-Methuen).