Screening News Weekly Wrap: May 22nd, 2020

About 4 min

Screening News Weekly Wrap: May 22nd, 2020

From frivolous COVID-19 lawsuits, to keeping marijuana edibles away from kids, and even some new crazy baseball rules… our EBI Screening News Weekly Wrap has all kinds of interesting twists and turns this week.


Protecting Businesses from Frivolous COVID-19 Lawsuits

The attorneys general from 21 states have banded together hoping to protect local businesses from frivolous lawsuits as they try to recover from the economic devastation of COVID-19.

The group sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Senators Lindsey Graham and Dianne Feinstein. The letter asked that the federal government create legislation that will provide a “stable, predictable legal environment” to help businesses get back on their feet.

Experts are expecting a surge in civil litigation surrounding employers' return to work efforts.

Whether an employer is accused of not providing the proper protective gear, or if an employee believes they contracted the virus because of poor safety practices – employers could face endless suits regardless of how hard they try to follow the new rules.

The goal of the attorneys general’s request is not to prevent those who are truly harmed by a careless employer from getting a settlement, but to give employers a framework to follow. If they do open and protect their employees in accordance with the guidelines, they would be protected from frivolous civil legal actions.

New Missouri Medical Marijuana Bill

The Show-Me State wants to make sure marijuana edibles are not enticing to children.

Voters in Missouri said “yes” to the sale and use of medical marijuana back in 2018, but products are still unavailable. The program was supposed to go online this spring, but COVID-19 has pushed it back, at least until sometime this summer.

Despite the delay, the state’s House of Representatives passed a bill to bar the sale of some marijuana edibles. The concern is that some of these products are in the shape of animals or fruit and might look too much like gummy snacks that children are so fond of.

The bill that passed on May 14th is extremely specific, outlawing anything molded into "the shape of a human, animal, or fruit, including realistic, artistic, caricature, or cartoon renderings." It also outlines exactly what shapes are allowed, including, but not limited to, geometric shapes like circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles. The legislation also requires that any package containing 10 milligrams of THC, or more, must be clearly marked as a marijuana product.

The bill also mandates that every person involved with a medical marijuana facility - from company officers to shop employees - must submit their fingerprints to the Missouri State Highway Patrol so they can be used to conduct state and federal criminal background checks.

Governor Mike Parson has not yet signed the bill into law, but he is expected to do so.

MLB Prepares to Play Ball Under New Rules

Think your workplace has changed because of COVID-19? Wait until you hear about the changes on tap for Major League Baseball.

In an effort to get America’s Pastime back on track, MLB has drafted a new Operations Manual that includes rules like no showers at the ballpark, no fighting, no spitting, and no mascots on the field.

Under the proposed plan there will be new rules for how teams travel, they must social distance in the dugouts, and high-fives and fist bumps are out of the question. Players are also prohibited from touching their faces to give signs, no one is allowed to lick their fingers, and dugout telephones will be disinfected after each use.

These are only some of proposed rules that were sent to all the teams. They were supposed to digest it and respond to the league by May 22nd.

Regardless of what players and their union think about these changes, one thing we know for sure is they will all be playing to empty ballparks when they finally return to the field.

Stay up-to-date on Employment Laws & Regulations with EBI's Screening News Network.