Associations can retain managers in different ways–each with a different mechanism for termination. Managers can be employees of an association (either under contract or at-will) or they can be employees of a management company who are assigned to the association.
1. Management Company. If the manager is an employee of the management company and the board is unhappy with the manager, the board can demand from the company that a new manager be assigned to the account. The process is fairly painless.
2. Employee Without a Contract. If the manager is an employee of the association without a written contract, the board could still be in a position where they need cause to fire the manager. Employment law in California is quite protective of employees and “at-will” has many, many exceptions.
3. Employee With a Contract. Depending on an association's governing documents, managers can be placed on muti-year contracts. If a manager has a contract, termination of employment normally requires “cause” per the terms of the agreement. Most contracts provide stability for their onsite manager by requiring good cause for termination so the manager cannot be fired at the whim of an incoming board.
Recommendation: Boards should consult legal counsel before firing a manager. Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.
ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.