M.A. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We have a unit owner in our condo complex who is not only a board member, but works for the association that runs our complex. Is this legal?
Mister Condo replies:
M.A., it is perfectly legal although it is not always wise. Employees of the association work for the Board. As a Board member, this employee is effectively his/her own boss. That creates potential conflicts of interest in area such as accountability, job performance, pay, and the ability of the employer to terminate the employee for poor job performance, etc.. Typically, Board members excuse themselves from voting on any issue that is employee-related. However, in many smaller associations that is not practical. I have found that in many times, Boards like to have “one of their own” on the job as they feel they are getting true dedication. After all, the work this employee performs benefits the association of which he/she is a part. I have heard the arguments from both sides and I feel the best policy is for Boards to avoid hiring unit owners for association work. Further, the conflict of interest in hiring a Board Member as an employee is even worse. That being said, they aren’t breaking any laws and unless your association’s governance documents state otherwise, they aren’t even breaking any rules by doing so. All the best!