Swimming Pool Rules & Age Discrimination

June 25, 2013

Public and private pools usually have some kind of rules around usage and safety. We’ve all seen signage stating that children under a certain age cannot use the pool without adult supervision. Many associations use these rules to ensure child safety. However, it is now considered age discrimination and a violation of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988.

Community Associations that post signage or enforce usage rules based on age, open themselves up to discrimination claims that can be very costly to defend. If the association is found in violation, they many also have to pay damages to the other party. Depending on how the suit is brought, there could be defense or indemnification on the association’s Directors and Officers policy.

Associations with pools should draft rules that focus on a person’s swimming ability. It is recommended that pool rules state that if a person is not able to safely swim independently, they should be accompanied by someone with competent swimming skills, regardless of age.