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Effective October 14, 2016, boards of directors are required to address members' claims of harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and disability. This includes harassment by other residents, board members, managers, and vendors. The law requires that boards take prompt steps to investigate and end harassment. (Code of Fed. Reg. §100.7(a)(1)(iii).)
Investigate Complaints. When harassment is alleged, boards must investigate. To determine if harassment is taking place, boards can evaluate the nature of the unwelcome conduct, the context in which the incidents occur, the severity, scope, frequency, duration, and location of the conduct, and the relationships of the people involved. It does not require that the complaining party suffer psychological or physical harm, only that the alleged harassment occurred.
Harassment Policy. To satisfy federal and state regulations and reduce your exposure to litigation, we can prepare anti-harassment/discrimination and neighbor dispute policies for your association. We prepare them on a fixed fee basis and they contain the following:
- Definitions of harassment, neighbor-to-neighbor disputes, protected classes, and third parties.
- Description of the association's policy against harassment and limitations on the association's authority.
- Procedures for reporting harassment.
- Policy for investigating disputes/harassment.
- Actions related to findings.
Additional Services. We also offer the following services:
- Training for boards and management on handling harassment/discrimination claims.
- Disability Accommodation Request Policy, which sets out the procedures for making and responding to disability accommodation requests, including useful forms.
- Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) Policy.
- Review of existing rules to identify language which could be deemed discriminatory.
Proposal. To receive a proposal or for more information about harassment policies, contact us.