HB 1175: The Bill Signing
On Friday, April 23, HB 1175 – COVID Liability Protections was signed into law by Governor Burgum. This was a tremendous win for the Greater North Dakota Chamber as we have been working on this type of business protection for the better part of a year. As the pandemic took hold of the world, we watched businesses alter and adapt to continue their operations while ensuring safety for themselves, their workforce, and their customers. We knew that despite their best of intentions, business leaders felt a vulnerability to legal disputes which would provide another level of harm to their business. This passage of this bill is important as it provides needed COVID19 liability protections from opportunistic lawsuits. The health of our businesses is vital to those that rely on the provided goods and services but also to the workers whom these businesses employ. This law now provides a safe harbor while still holding ill intentions or poor decision-makers accountable.
GNDC would like to thank and acknowledge those that helped ensure this legislation was possible. Special recognition to bill sponsor Representative Michael Howe, bill carriers in each chamber – Representative Dave Nehring and Senator Jerry Klein, those that spoke on the floor in support, and all legislators that green light this bill to passage. Their furtherance compliments the efforts of our industry and business coalition who lobbied in support. This coalition represented hundreds of businesses and thousands of workers across North Dakota. The coalition and GNDC understand that this bill offers protection but also sends a strong message of support and appreciation.
At the bill signing, Arik Spencer, GNDC CEO and President summed up the cause for celebration well, “HB 1175 is not only beneficial to North Dakota’s business community but also our workforce, our communities, and ultimately, our economy.”