ASBC OPPOSES McCONNELL “NO ACCOUNTABILITY” PROPOSAL, CALLS PASSING PERMANENT PAID FAMILY AND SICK LEAVE CRITICAL TO SAFELY REOPENING ECONOMY
WASHINGTON, D.C, – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposed corporate immunity legislation should be called the “No Accountability” plan, according to the American Sustainable Business Council.
“Safely reopening the economy will never happen without rebuilding confidence among business owners, their employees and families and their customers, and McConnell’s plan does just the opposite,” said ASBC Executive Vice President Thomas Oppel. “What is critical is providing people the security of knowing that if they or a family member gets sick that they’ll be able to take time off and still keep their job, which is why Congress needs to pass permanent paid family and sick leave.”
McConnell’s proposed corporate immunity provision would block any COVID-19-related lawsuits unless someone could prove their illness resulted from actions that were “grossly negligent” or “intentional,” extraordinary difficult standards to meet. While McConnell has pitched his plan as necessary to reopen the economy in the wake of the pandemic, his proposal actually represents a decade-old effort that sharply limits corporate accountability.
“Instead of assisting efforts to reopen the economy, this proposal actually will scare off people,” said Oppel. “McConnell’s immunity provision distracts from the real issues facing business owners, their employees and families and their customers, who want to know it will be safe to return to the marketplace, schools, health care facilities and other activities.”
ASBC said passing permanent paid family and sick leave as well as adopting the HEROES Act, passed by the House in May to provide additional relief to businesses, workers, state and local governments, and extend unemployment benefits among other provisions.
“As Senate Republicans continue to push back against extending unemployment benefits, millions of Americans are suffering, disproportionately in Black and Latinx and low-income communities,” said Oppel. “It’s time for the Senate to get serious and after delaying for months, to finally act to provide desperately needed assistance.”