Property Owners Associations, or POAs, must navigate through many different types of laws to run their business well.
Setting up and maintaining a POA will require drafting governing documents carefully and conducting meetings. It also requires a good knowledge of real estate and title law.
POAs often must refer homeowner assessments to collections or act against homeowners who are not following the POA’s rules.
Because maintaining a POA comes with risk, managers will at some point likely have to work with an insurance company and may get into a dispute over coverage or a claim settlement.
Amid all of this, it might be easy to forget about employment law. However, any POA with a payroll will need to make sure they understand the maze of state and federal laws that protect Texas workers:
- There are important anti-discrimination laws POAs may be required to follow. Even if a POA has no intention of discriminating against their workers unfairly, these laws can be tricky to navigate. Many well-intentioned employers face discrimination claims.
- Managers should also remember that they do not just have to treat employees fairly themselves. They also must take steps to protect workers from all job-related harassment and discrimination.
- Likewise, POAs need to make sure that they observe all whistleblower protections for employees who report certain concerns. They must likewise be sure to protect their workers’ civil rights and allow them to do their civic duties.
- They must make sure that they compensate their employees according to the law.
Making a mistake in the arena of employment law can cost a POA
The consequences for making a mistake related to employment law can prove costly.
State and federal agencies often enforce these laws. A regulatory investigation can cost a POA time, emotional capital and money. It can also lead to fines and other financial fallout.
These agencies usually are not shy about publicizing their actions, so a POA could face bad press and a tarnished reputation after a brush with the state or federal government.
Furthermore, employees themselves may attempt to file a lawsuit against the POA. Disgruntled workers can often recover lost pay, attorney fees and other damages if they can prove their claims. These sorts of cases may involve multiple employees and may attract the attention of the media.
POAs in the Houston area are well served if they understand what employment laws apply to them and develop a detailed and well-thought strategy to meet their obligations.