Leave it to lawyers to find the legal angle to Monday afternoon’s long-awaited total eclipse of the sun.
Taylor English Duma’s Glianny Fagundo, an employment lawyer, said several of her clients have gotten in touch for eclipse-related legal advice.
Fagundo said many businesses are having rooftop viewing parties and providing eclipse glasses to employees, so they want to make sure they’re not exposing themselves to the harsh rays of future lawsuits.
She’s advising them to provide NASA-approved viewing glasses and to remind employees of injury risks from looking directly at the sun. Fagundo even prepared a liability waiver that management can ask employees accepting the glasses to sign. (See below.)
Avoid being dismissive of eclipse leave requests, as “there may be some religious motivations behind them,” Fagundo added, and don’t allow any favoritism as to who is allowed to take leave.
Eclipse tourism has been a boon for Fagundo’s hospitality clients located in the “path of totality,” which, according to NASA, will stretch from Charleston, South Carolina, to Salem, Oregon.
North Georgia hotels and restaurants are completely booked through Monday, Fagundo’s clients there have reported, and all the state and national parks are full.
“Usually there is nothing going on in August—it’s too hot and it’s back to school,” Fagundo said.
Here is Fagundo’s waiver for eclipse glasses. (Use at your own risk.):
IMPORTANT NOTE: LOOKING AT THE SUN IS UNSAFE! Observing the sun directly will result in serious personal injury, up to and including permanent eye damage and blindness. Even if using the eclipse glasses, there’s a risk of injury. By providing the glasses, COMPANY is not making any warranties about their safeness. By accepting or using the glasses: (1) you alone assume all risk of injury, illness, damage or loss to yourself or your property that might result from using the glasses or being at the event; and (2) you specifically release COMPANY from any claims, liability, damages, or losses relating to a personal injury, accidents, illnesses, death and/or property loss caused in any manner, related to using the glasses or being at the event.