Workers Compensation Insurance

This type of insurance is required by law for any association that has employees and for any association’s vendor that has employees. It is intended to be the exclusive remedy against an employer for bodily injuries that occur to an employee while the employee is working on behalf of the employer. Insurance professionals often recommend that associations carry at least a basic workers compensation policy. Such a policy is needed to protect and defend an association against claims from persons who allege that they were employees of an association at the time an injury occurs even if the association believes they were not employees, or in cases where a vendor cancels workers compensation coverage or allows it to lapse after work for an association commences.

Write-in Candidates

Refers to the possibility, as permitted by an association’s governing documents, of nominating a candidate for the board of directors who does not appear on the ballot circulated by the association.

Writing, Defined

“Writing” means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photographing, photocopying, transmitting by electronic mail or facsimile, and every other means of recording upon any tangible thing, any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combinations thereof, and any record thereby created, regardless of the manner in which the record has been stored. Evidence Code §250. Writing includes any form of recorded message capable of comprehension by ordinary visual means; and when used to describe communications between a corporation and its members, writing shall include electronic transmissions by and to a corporation where the parties have consented to this means of communication, and where such communication complies with the provisions of Corporations Code §§20 and 21. Whenever any notice, report, statement, or record is required or authorized by this code, it shall be made in writing in the English language. Corporations Code §8.

Written Ballot

A “written ballot” is a term of art with a very special and limited meaning that requires more than just a ballot that is written. It is a method by which a corporation may take a vote of the members without a meeting. It is defined in Corporations Code section 5080, and the specific procedures required are found in Corporations Code sections 7513 & 7514. Refers to the requirement that certain votes by homeowners be taken pursuant to a written ballot. The Davis-Stirling Act calls for secret written ballots on the following issues: election or removal of directors by the homeowners; amendments to the CC&Rs, bylaws or articles; vote by the homeowners on a request for exclusive use of common areas; vote by the homeowners on specified large (a) special assessments or (b) increases in regular assessments. Governing documents may require other homeowner votes to be taken by means of written ballots as well. The Corporations Code permits corporations to conduct votes by mail as well.

Written Consent

Directors on a CID board may conduct an emergency board meeting (Civ. Code §4923) using electronic transmissions, such as e-mail, under very limited circumstances, if all the board members consent in writing to do so. This is in contrast to Corporations Code section 7211 that permits a non-CID board to conduct business without a meeting, if all the directors consent in writing to the action. Corporations Code section 7516 and most association bylaws also permit a corporation to conduct business without a meeting, if all the members give their written consent to the action. In most cases, this is impractical and impossible to obtain if the corporation has more than a handful of members.

Written Notice to Corporation

A document generally may be delivered to the association by personal delivery or first-class mail. Delivery of documents to the association by email is not permitted unless the association has consented to this form of delivery. Wherever any notice or other communication is required to be mailed by registered mail by or to any person or corporation, the mailing of such notice or other communication by certified mail shall be deemed to be a sufficient compliance with the requirements of law. Corporations Code Section 8. Effective 1/1/2014, if the law requires a document to be delivered to the association, the document shall be delivered to the person designated in the association’s annual policy statement. If no person has been designated to receive documents, the document shall be delivered to the president or secretary of the association.

Wage Garnishment

This is a mechanism for enforcing a judgment. If it is determined by an investigation or other means that a judgment debtor is employed at a wage earning job, the association can obtain a Writ of Execution from the Court and instruct the Sheriff to garnish the judgment debtor’s wages and pay them to the association in satisfaction of the judgment. [Code Civ. Proc. § 706.010 et seq.]

Waiver

Is the voluntary relinquishment or surrender of some known right or privilege, either by an express statement, or by one’s actions or failure to take action. The elements of “voluntary” and “known” are key; one is presumed to know one’s rights and that those rights are voluntarily relinquished if not asserted in a timely manner. (E.g., In civil cases, certain arguments and objections must be raised immediately, or the Court will deemed those objections waived.) When the right to hold a person liable through a lawsuit are waived, the waiver may be called an exculpatory clause, liability waiver, legal release, or hold harmless clause.

Websites

The internet provides a powerful tool for associations to reach their members by providing governing documents, minutes and other association forms. However, the internet also gives an easy voice to the websites of disgruntled homeowners and individuals who are seeking to undermine an association. If an association chooses to utilize a website, ensure proper protections are in place and that only board approved materials are posted.

Wheelchair Access

Refers to the ability of a person using a wheelchair to obtain access to either business establishments or housing. Depending upon the date of first occupancy of housing, such housing may have been required to have been constructed in such a fashion that wheelchair users are guaranteed access (typically by means of ramps and widened doorways). Businesses and other organizations which qualify as “public accommodations” may be required to provide wheelchair access, where readily achievable, even when the facility was not required at time of construction to be accessible. Construction guidelines for such access are found in the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (for public accommodations) and the Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines (for housing).