ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – Nov. 24 – 30, 2019

Below is a review of the posts (on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter) from the past week. You can check out the full posts by clicking on the links.

In the post on Sunday 11/24/19 we learned that workers taking paid family leave fight the fear of stigma over their absence. The employer’s parental leave program, available to new moms and dads, was noted in the post. He could have taken advantage of it as noted in the post as his wife, Erin, transitioned back to work after maternity leave. So why did he think twice? Shawn had recently accepted a promotion to VP and worried whether his colleagues would question his work ethic. What Shawn learned after the leave is in the post.

TAKEAWAY: We all know that parental leave should be for all parents, but some of the terms and conditions may have legal implications, so run it by employment counsel.  

The post on Monday 11/25/19 taught us that “smoking gun” email revived employee’s disability discrimination lawsuit. Paula was fired because she had a visual impairment. How do we know that? Because the day after her termination, one of her co-workers confirmed it in an email (at whose direction the email was written is noted in the post). And what did the ill-fated e-mail say? See the post. The trial court ruled in favor of the employer; that was overturned on appeal for the reasons analyzed in the post.

TAKEAWAY: As noted in the post, “don’t be so short-sighted as to fire an employee because you believe s/he suffers from a disability, and then confirm that belief in writing”. Just don’t do it.

The post on Tuesday 11/26/19 told us that the EEOC helps veterans understand their rights under the ADA. The EEOC has a publication entitled “Understanding Your Employment Rights Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): A Guide for Veterans” on its website. The guide answers questions that injured veterans may have about their rights after they have left the service and returned to a civilian job or seeking a new job and other things noted in the post. The requirements under the ADA go hand-in-hand with those under USERRA (which is enforced by DOL and DOJ) for the bases noted in the post). Some of the differences in how the statutes play out in the case of disability are explained in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Both employees and employers must understand their respective rights and obligations – consult an employment lawyer for assistance.

The post on Wednesday 11/27/19 was about directors removed from office – just follow the documents. Lesson to be learned … So, let’s talk about the background first. The subject association was incorporated in 1994 and governed by a declaration and bylaws. By December 2016 it had serious organizational issues and its property management firm had tendered its resignation. Enough, right? Wrong. The association secretary sent a letter to the members asking them to sign a petition for a special meeting – the percentage who signed it and the purpose of the meeting are in the post. The secretary then sent a special meeting notice setting January 31, 2017 as the date for the meeting; again, the percentage who voted in favor and the action to be taken are noted in the post. Then money comes into the picture. Before the meeting, US Bank was receiving conflicting instructions relating to the release of the association funds, and as a result placed a hold on the funds. In March 2017, when the matter was not resolved, US Bank filed suit. Wells Fargo Bank was also added as a party as an account of the association was also located there. Certain people (noted in the post) sued. They won at the trial level, including being awarded attorneys’ fees, but others (noted in the post) appealed. It was a different outcome on appeal, as noted and for the reasons in the post.

TAKEAWAY: In any planned community – whether condo or homeowners’ association – the Governing Documents must be followed. Period. Consult a community association lawyer to keep things on the right side of legal.

In the posts on Thursday 11/28/19, herehere, and here,  we wished you a Happy Thanksgiving and said that then (and every day), we give thanks for all that we have and to you, our friends, colleagues, and clients, for allowing us to be effective, efficient and responsive to your changing legal needs.

TAKEAWAY: Thanks take many forms. We hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

The post on Friday 11/29/19 talked about punctuality as an essential job function under the ADA. what if an employee’s disability affects his ability to show up for work on time? That was the question before a federal court in PA. The court held that whether “predictable and punctual attendance” constitutes an essential function of a job is the issue and what it largely depends on is noted in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Employers and employees need to know that is protected under the ADA and what their rights and obligations might be going forward – that all starts (in part) with an accurate job description.

Finally, in the post yesterday 11/30/19, we asked: are you are thinking about buying a condo (or home within an homeowners’ association) and do you k now what you need to know? With any residence within a planned community, it’s best to know your lifestyle and budget first. Your individual unit (which might be an attached house or a detached dwelling) will be owned by you, whereas other parts and amenities (such as those noted in the post). will be owned in common with other owners. Owners will pay a fee (monthly or annually) to the association to take case of the common areas and other things as noted in the post. Some pros of living in a planned community are lower maintenance and (often) more affordability, and others noted in the post. There are also cons, such as an investment risk (as with any home you own) and the other items noted in the post. Perhaps the biggest deciding factor are the legal documents you must follow: the Declaration, Bylaws, and Rules/Regulations.  

TAKEAWAY: whether you are an owner or also on the Board, you should have a community association lawyer (like me) help you know the effect of the Declaration and Bylaws (and Rules).

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