The following content has been re-published from the New York State AFL-CIO.
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of the State of New York
Executive Chamber The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo:
Protection of workers, customers, clients, patients, and the environment is quite simply a matter of life and death right now. But unfortunately, powerful business interests are seizing on this crisis as an opportunity to call upon the state to grant expansive liability protections.
Acceding to these callous demands, particularly while the state contemplates relaxing stay at home orders and public health protocols, would be foolhardy. It would undermine any confidence that New Yorkers will be protected and have recourse when businesses subject them to undue risk.
Immunity would allow businesses that fail to reduce unnecessary and potentially lethal risk to escape legal responsibility for the resulting harm. Businesses must be held accountable to do their part to protect workers and consumers. It would be immoral to shield them from irresponsible practices that foster the spread of COVID-19 throughout our communities.
If you need any further convincing that immunity is not right for New York, we remind you that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has fought tooth and nail to disadvantage our state at every turn during this pandemic, has been the biggest proponent of immunity at the federal level. In fact, he has threatened to hold hostage the federal aid you have been championing in return for this giveaway to bad corporate actors.
We cannot allow profitability to be prioritized over the lives of people – that is not who we are as New Yorkers. We urge you to reject calls from the business community to grant them immunity from actions that put the lives of our families at risk.
Thank you for your consideration.