In recent years, California businesses have been increasingly targeted with costly lawsuits forcing many to make substantial changes to their operations, often with a significant impact on our local economy. By creating a litigious climate of uncertainty, many struggle to cope with the increased legal costs, and are forced to lay off employees or cut back on operations. Some have even closed their doors or relocated due to these lawsuits.
Reform is necessary if California is going to remain competitive in fostering new businesses and supporting existing ones. An excellent place to start would be lengthening the corrective action timeline.
In California, businesses have a duty to take corrective action if they find a hazard that could potentially harm employees or customers. If they fail to do so, they can be sued for negligence. However, the current timeframe for taking corrective action is often too short for businesses to realistically comply, thus resulting in costly lawsuits. By expanding the timeframe for disciplinary action, companies would be given a realistic chance to correct hazards without facing legal penalties.
This would save businesses money and improve safety for employees and customers. In addition, expanding the timeframe would give businesses time to implement corrective measures that are effective and durable, rather than rushing to put something in place that may not be effective simply to comply. Doing it once and doing it right is an appropriate approach.
Ultimately, extending the timeline for corrective action would benefit businesses and the public by encouraging compliance and preventing injuries.
Today’s litigious environment has a chilling effect on business investment in the state. Companies are hesitant to expand or invest in new projects because they fear being sued. This reluctance to invest leads to fewer jobs and slower economic growth – not a good combination under our current economic environment. California policymakers need to find ways to address this issue. Businesses need to thrive, and simple corrective action reform is an excellent place to start.
- Legal Reform is Necessary to Incentivize Corrections, Not Lawsuits - September 29, 2022