Guest Post: Lisa Boylan, Associations Now
What happens when your chapters hold in-person meetings—even after your association has made it clear that events should only be virtual because of COVID-19? A waiver might be a good idea.
There are plenty of opinions on the right amount of coordination—some might say control— between national associations and their chapters. COVID-19 has raised a new wrinkle.
In June, the national board of Mocha Moms, Inc.—“the premier voice and support group for mothers of color,” according to its website—issued a directive stating that its chapters were to stop holding in-person events until further notice to ensure member safety. Despite the notice, which referenced CDC’s explanation that the virus is transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets, leadership became aware, through posts on social media, that some chapters were holding in-person events.
Mocha Moms’ general counsel, Manotti Jenkins, recommended that the organization issue a mandatory waiver to protect itself in case someone attended an unsanctioned Mocha Moms event, contracted the coronavirus, and brought a lawsuit against the organization. But does a waiver completely protect an organization from liability?