Dear Dinosaur: With Zoom, the host kept eligible directors from entering into their board meeting while allowing others in. Then, after finally allowing those unwanted but eligible members to enter the meeting, the host removes him/her repeatedly from the meeting so that they are unable to participate in discussions, deliberation, and vote. Another method utilized was to keep muting those directors so that they could not speak. What can be done?
Answer: This is outrageous! You should make a very big fuss until the chair stops doing this. Every member has a right to attend the meeting, and take an equal part in discussion. It is a complete violation of the chair’s duty and the rules of parliamentary procedure to allow some members in, but not others, and to allow some members to speak, but not others. Talk with your attorney, your executive director, and colleagues—if the sunshine laws allow—and bring strong social pressure to bear on this overbearing and abusive chair. Read more on how to do this in our articles:
Dear Dinosaur provides simple, practical answers to questions about Robert’s Rules and parliamentary procedure. Send your questions to Dear Dinosaur here. Our answers are based on Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 12th edition. As always, nothing in this post constitutes legal or business advice. For complicated questions, seek a qualified authority.