Businesses are at the epicenter of the mask controversy. Businesses are facing many problems because of the pandemic. At the center of weathering the economic crisis is the legal liability that Covid-19 has unleashed upon business owners.

To open or not to open. To keep the payroll intact, furlough workers or layoff the team. Will my business survive? Those questions and many more is driven by money. Does the business have enough money to reopen, meet payroll and pay bills?

But that’s just a symptom of the larger problem. Business liability.

Business owners are uncertain on what their liability is under Covid-19.

If an employee is infected with Coronavirus while at work, is the business owner liable? How about a customer? If the customer comes down with the virus is the business liable? Those are the obvious questions.

But what about making it a rule that everyone in the establishment must wear a mask. Seems simple enough. But who is liable if a customer refuses to wear a mask and an altercation results from an employee enforcing the owner’s rule?

Is the business liable for the injuries?

But it doesn’t end there.

American courts are notorious for issuing contradictory rulings on legal issues. It may seem simple enough to adopt a mask requirement to enter the business. But what happens if a customer, or an activist objects and enters the establishment without a mask, only to be ejected for violating the mask rule? They sue, and now the business owner must go to court to defend their mask rule.

Whether the court rules in their favor or not becomes immaterial when the business owner must factor the cost to litigate the mask rule in court.

Americans want the economy to return. To do so, the liability issue needs to be resolved.

And not just resolved but resolved to the point that no one can sue a business owner for virus-related problems.

That’s how you get the economy to come back.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...