NFIB Files Amicus Brief in California Workers’ Compensation Case

Date: August 30, 2021

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Aug. 30, 2021) – The NFIB Small Business Legal Center filed an amicus brief in the case See’s Candies, Inc. and See’s Candy Shops, Inc., v. Los Angeles Superior Court at the California Second District Court of Appeal supporting See’s Candies Inc. and See’s Candy Shops, Inc. The case primarily concerns whether employees can subject employers to unlimited tort liability for alleged workplace injuries that are intended to be addressed in the workers’ compensation system.

“The Workers’ Compensation Act was made to protect both the employee and the employer for all workplace injury claims,” said Karen Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “If the trial court’s decision stands, small businesses will be disproportionally harmed as small employers generally don’t have the additional finances for protracted legal fights. The increased liability risk will be damaging to many small businesses in California, especially when their businesses are still recovering from the pandemic.”

This case derives from a single injury that an employee sustained when she contracted COVID-19 at her place of employment. The trial court ruled against the employer on the theory that the employee’s alleged injuries were “independent” of the employee’s workplace injury and invented a COVID-19 exception for injuries that derive from employees who allegedly contract the virus in the employer’s workplace.

NFIB filed the amicus brief with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Workers’ Compensation Institute, the Restaurant Law Center, the California Restaurant Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the National Retail Federation.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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