(Michael McGrady) — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed legislation this week that supporters say will give hospitality workers more protections amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over a video call Tuesday, Sisolak signed Senate Bill 4 in the presence of Geoconda Argüello-Kline of the Culinary Workers Union, MGM Resorts CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle, and Irma Fernandez — the daughter of Adolfo Fernandez, a Caesars Entertainment employee who contracted COVID-19 and died in June.
The legislation, which was passed by both chambers last week, mandates that the Department of Health and Human Services “establish minimum standards” for cleaning facilities that accommodate the public within Clark and Washoe Counties to prevent COVID-19 spread. Facilities then must “establish, implement and maintain” a COVID-19 response plan.
SB 4 also provides some legal protection for business and organizations that comply with public health requirements.
“This bill provides that certain businesses conducted for profit, governmental entities and private nonprofit organizations are immune from civil liability for personal injury or death resulting from exposure to COVID-19, if the business, governmental entity or private nonprofit organization substantially complied with controlling health standards,” the legislation says.
Sisolak said the legislation “isn’t about economic expansion – it’s about our state’s economic survival.”
“It’s about acknowledging that Nevada relies heavily on a single industry – the hospitality industry – and in order to make it through this historic storm, we must ensure it survives,” he added. “But it’s not just about protecting the businesses – it’s also about protecting the workers that keep this industry and our economy running.”