Optimum finds it very important to stay up to date with current legislation that directly impacts community associations in California. The following legislation has been signed and approved by former Governor Jerry Brown and took effect on January 1, 2019 unless otherwise stated:
AB 2912 (Irwin) Association Finances
Civil Code§§ 5380, 5500, 5501, 5502 and 5806
New Civil Code Section 5380 establishes protections of association finances such that, upon written request by the board of directors, the association’s managing agent must deposit association funds into an interest-bearing account in a bank or credit union, provided that certain requirements are met.
Civil Code Section 5500 is amended to require boards to review their association’s finances on a monthly basis (including delinquent assessment receivable reports and monthly general ledgers), unless the governing documents require a more frequent review. Additionally, transfers greater than $10,000 or 5% of an association’s total combined reserve and operating account deposits (whichever is lower) are prohibited without the prior written approval from the board
SB 1300 (Jackson) Unlawful employment practices: discrimination and harassment
Government Code§§ 12940, 12965, 12923, 12950.2, 12964.5
Currently, under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), employers may be held liable if their employees harass other employees, and the employer (including its agents or supervisors) was aware of the harassment taking place and 1t failed to take corrective action. This Bill, among other things, a/so holds employers responsible if nonemployees engage in sexual harassment, and the employer or its agents or supervisors knew or should have known of the conduct and failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. Furthermore, employers under this bill are prohibited from requiring employees to sign any document that denies the employee the right to disclose information about unlawful acts in the workplace (such as sexual harassment).
Senate Bill 1300 imposes an even greater duty on community associations to not only be mindful of complaints about, and conduct of, their employees, but of nonemployees, such as residents, vendors, contractors, etc. Any complaints about sexual harassment brought to the attention of the board must be diligently and expeditiously investigated, and the appropriate corrective action must be taken, if warranted, with the assistance of legal counsel.
AB 2770 (Irwin) Communications by a former employer: sexual harassment Civil Code § 4 7
Under Civil Code Section 47, libel and slander are communications which are false, injure the reputation of another, and are unprivileged The law establishes certain types of communications which are “privileged” or, put differently, would not result in liability. For example, an employer with credible evidence, telling another employer, without malice, that his former employee had poor job performance, is protected from libel and slander laws
Under AB 2770, the privileged communications of Civil Code Section 47 are expanded to also include communications pertaining to whether the former employee engaged in sexual harassment. For example, one employer is allowed to tell another employer that it would not rehire a former employee based upon its determination that the former employee had previously engaged in sexual harassment, after receiving complaints founded upon credible evidence.
This Bill authorizes boards and managers to speak more freely about former association employees with respect to sexual harassment claims, without the fear of being prosecuted for libel or slander. However, all communications which would obviously hurt the reputation of another should always be made only after consulting with legal counsel and with credible evidence, if possible, and without ill will or out of spite (also known as “malice”).
SB 1016 (Allen) Common Interest Developments: EV-dedicated TOU meters Civil Code§§ 4745, 4745.1
Currently, Civil Code Section 4745 provides that any provision in an association’s governing documents that prohibits or restricts the installation or use of an electric vehicle charging station (EVCS) in an owner’s designated parking space is void and unenforceable as a matter of law. However, under existing law, the governing documents may still impose reasonable restrictions on these installations, including requiring owners who install the station within the common area or exclusive use common area to pay for the electricity usage associated with it.
Senate Bill 1016 expands on these requirements. Specifically, Civil Code Section 4745 now requires owners who install an EVCS in common area or exclusive use common area to agree to pay the installation costs of the station. It also requires the owner to provide proof of liability insurance coverage for the EVCS to the association within fourteen (14) days of approval of the owner’s application to install the station and update same annually thereafter. Finally, in any lawsuit brought by an owner to enforce compliance with these requirements, the prevailing plaintiff, meaning the owner only, is awarded attorney’s fees.
With these added requirements, it is critical that boards, in conjunction with legal counsel, draft agreements to be signed by the installing owner, and recorded against their property, wherein the owner agrees to maintain the required insurance coverage and otherwise comply with the Civil Code’s many regulations.
SB 261 (Roth) Common Interest Developments: Governance Civil Code§§ 4040, 4360
Under current law, specifically, Civil Code Section 4040, if an association is required to deliver a document by “individual delivery” or “individual notice,” then the association is authorized to deliver it by email, fax, or other electronic means, as long as the recipient (e.g., the owner) has consented to this form of delivery in writing. Under current law, if the recipient wishes to revoke his or her consent to these forms of delivery, he or she must do so in writing.
This Bill simply provides that the owner may consent to such delivery, or revoke consent to same, by email as well.
We will be working with our Boards to ensure they are in compliance with all legislation above.
Thank you to Jeffrey A. Beamont, Esq. of Beaumont Tashjian for the Legislation Content.