Rec Equipment Decisions Can Lead To Bias Allegations
The state of Maryland recently passed a new law after an HOA’s demand for the removal of basketball hoops raised questions of racial discrimination.
The Maryland law generally prohibits condo associations and HOAs from imposing “unreasonable limitations” on the location and use of portable basketball hoops on an owner’s property. A state legislator initiated the law after a dispute arose regarding an HOA’s declaration provision that prohibits recreational equipment.
The Washington Post reported that the hoops in question were used by an African American boy and his Korean American friend. Their families were ordered to remove the hoops, even though soccer goals and lacrosse nets allegedly were permitted in the community. According to the Post, basketball hoops “have often been at the center of disagreements,” including in Coral Springs, Fla., St. Louis, Mo., and other cities.
Arguments over recreational equipment in associations are nothing new, but the racial component is less common. “I’ve heard of allegations of familial discrimination related to these types of restrictions, but not racial,” says Kevin Hirzel, managing member of Hirzel Law, PLC, a Michigan-based firm that works with numerous community associations.
The risk of racially discriminatory rules isn’t limited to those addressing recreational equipment. Read the full story now and learn why seemingly innocuous rules, new or existing, could lead to unwanted publicity and litigation stemming from allegations of discrimination: