Shira Rawlinson Shira Rawlinson
Vice President, Communications, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


June 15, 2020


Businesses throughout the country are working hard to reopen safely and to keep their employees and customers healthy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However small business owners are becoming increasingly worried about the possibility of lawsuits as they reopen, even if they’ve taken the necessary precautions to keep their employees and customers safe.  

According to a recent U.S. Chamber and MetLife Small Business Coronavirus Impact Poll, two-thirds (67%) of small businesses with 20-500 employees and a majority (51%) of small businesses with 5-19 employees are worried about the possibility of lawsuits related to the coronavirus.  

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Consider this: small businesses with 5 to 19 employees employ over 15 million Americans, and small businesses with between 20 and 500 employees employ over 39 million.

That is over 54 million American workers that could be impacted if their place of work closes due lawsuits against their employer.   

Don’t just take our word for it. We’re collecting first-hand accounts from real small business owners about their experience with reopening their business and what they are most concerned about. Check out this new series below:  

To see more videos, visit the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) Faces of Lawsuit Abuse website.

We continue to see the issue of liability protections being raised among businesses, and there is broad public support as well as support across the political spectrum. We’re seeing businesses of all sizes and across all industries speak up and voice their concerns.  

To be clear – the business community is asking for temporary ‘safe harbor’ protections to give employers some degree of assurance that if they follow public health guidelines, they won’t face further financial hardships through unwarranted lawsuits. Bad actors and companies that engage in gross negligence or willful misconduct should be held accountable. 

To learn more about this important issue, visit the U.S. Chamber’s resource page. If you’d like to have your voice heard in our video series, please reach out to Amanda Hyman at

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About the authors

Shira Rawlinson

Shira Rawlinson

Shira Rawlinson manages ILR’s communications team, serves as its point of contact for reporters, and is the executive producer of its award-winning Faces of Lawsuit Abuse campaign and award-winning podcast Cause for Action.

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