340-01
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) COMPLIANCE

POLICY & PROCEDURE

Subject:

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) COMPLIANCE

Index: Human Resources & Risk Management

Number: 340-01 (replaces 300-56)

Effective Date

4/15/2009

Supersedes

10/18/93

Page

1 of 6

Staff Contact

Nancy Carlson

Approved By

Denis Law

1.0 PURPOSE:

To assure compliance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and provide guidelines for accommodating persons with qualified disabilities who are either employed by or seek employment with the City, or who seek to participate in the programs, services, activities, or facilities of the City of Renton.

2.0 ORGANIZATIONS AFFECTED:

All departments/divisions, city officials, and citizens

3.0 REFERENCES:

City of Renton Resolution No. 2340, issued July 10, 1972, and revised February 9, 1976, and June 2, 1980;

City of Renton Resolution No. 3007, issued October 4, 1993;

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC §§794, et seq.);

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (42 USC §§12101, et seq.)

4.0 POLICY:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires businesses to take specific steps to ensure that individuals with qualified disabilities do not experience discrimination in the employment process. In addition, the ADA provides that no individual with a qualified disability shall be denied receipt of or access to public programs, activities, or services. All state and local government agencies are covered whether or not they receive federal funds. Employers with 25 or more employees will be covered by the Act, effective July 26, 1992.

4.1    The City of Renton will assure persons with qualified disabilities the opportunity to participate in or benefit from the City’s programs, services, activities, or facilities.

4.2    The City of Renton will assure equal employment opportunities for applicants and employees in the provision of employment services. The City will determine reasonable accommodation to employ, provide employment services, or continue the employment of a qualified individual with a disability, persons with a record of such an impairment, or persons regarded as having such an impairment. Reasonable Accommodation and any related issues will be considered on a case-by-case basis (see Exhibit A).

4.3    The City of Renton will strive to equitably resolve issues concerning barriers to persons with a disability or alleged discrimination toward persons with a disability, in employment practices, or in services, programs, or facilities provided by the City (see Exhibit B).

4.4    All procedures and clarifications of this policy must involve the ADA Coordinator.

5.0 DEFINITIONS:

5.1    ADA: The ADA refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 USC §§12101, et seq.)

5.2    ADA Coordinator: The ADA Coordinator, or his/her designee (“ADA Coordinator” or “Coordinator” herein) is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the City of Renton to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act Title II, and for coordinating the investigation of any complaints against the City entity regarding violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act Title II.

5.3    ADAAG: ADA Accessibility Guidelines

5.4    Auxiliary Aids: Interpreters, readers, assistive listening devices, text telephones, large print materials, audio tape, assistance in filling out forms, etc.

5.5    EEOC: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

5.6    Employment Services: Employment related activities or practices including: recruitment, advertising, tenure, training, layoff, leaves, fringe benefits, job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, or other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

5.7    Qualified Disability: Physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity; record of such an impairment; or regarded as having such an impairment.

5.8    Qualified Individual with a Disability: A person who satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education and other job-related requirements of the employment position such individual holds or desires, and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of such position.

5.9    Reasonable Accommodation: A logical modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or to routine operations to enable a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunity, or to enable a citizen to enjoy equal access to the City’s services, programs, and activities. Modifications as identified will be made to current facilities and where technically and economically feasible.

6.0 PROCEDURES:

6.1    ADA Coordinator: An Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator has been designated to coordinate compliance with the non-discrimination requirements contained in Section 35.107 of the Department of Justice regulations. Information concerning the provisions of the American with Disabilities Act is available from the City of Renton ADA Coordinator by calling (425) 430-7669.

6.2     Auxiliary Aids: The City will provide auxiliary aids and/or access for citizens that are appropriate to the services, programs and facilities provided. All City of Renton offices and programs shall be accessible to users of the Washington Relay Service. Upon advance request, reasonable steps will be taken to furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services (e.g., assistive listening devices, sign language interpreters, Braille) to afford a qualified individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in and enjoy the benefits of the services, programs, activities, and physical facilities provided to the public by the City of Renton. Primary consideration will be given to the requests of the qualified individual with a disability unless another equally effective accommodation is available, or the use of the means requested would result in a fundamental alteration of the service, program, and activity, or an undue financial or administrative burden.

6.3    Contractors: All City of Renton contractors, except contractors providing tangible goods, shall comply with Section 504/ADA, Disability Assurance of Compliance, unless an accessibility waiver is obtained.

All City of Renton departments administering Section 504 contracts whereupon the contractor, other than another government entity, provides programs, services, or activities to the public, shall require the contractor to comply with the Section 504/ADA requirements applicable to governments. The contracting City department shall monitor respective contracts for compliance with Section 504/ADA.

When providing any aid, benefit or service, individuals with disabilities will not be denied the ability to participate because of contractual, licensing, or other arrangements. Discrimination against individuals is not permitted by providing significant assistance to an agency, organization, or person that discriminates. Contractors will be made aware of this requirement and their performance monitored.

6.4    Employment Practices (See Exhibit A, Guidelines for Reasonable Accommodation in Employment Practices):

6.4.1.    Reasonable accommodation will be provided to current employees who meet the ADA requirements for “qualified individual” and “qualified disability,” by providing:

a.    Temporary reassignment to limited duties within the employee’s job classification. Temporary reassignment of the employee at the employee’s current rate of pay, to another classification with equal or lower pay for which the employee is qualified.

b.    Job restructuring where feasible to provide the opportunity for continued employment to the employee with a disability.

c.    Reassignment to a vacant position for which the employee is qualified, as a reasonable accommodation when accommodation within an employee’s current position is not feasible. (Under no circumstances is the City required to create a position for a worker with a disability).

6.4.2    The ADA Coordinator will evaluate and determine whether a qualified disability exists and whether reasonable accommodation can be made for employment practices or positions.

6.4.3    Reasonable accommodation will be determined through consideration of the essential functions of the job, financial feasibility of providing the accommodation, difficulty of providing the accommodation, or any other matter affecting the City. Such accommodation will be considered only for job-related factors that assist the employee in performing the essential functions of the position, and will not be considered for matters of personal benefit to the individual with a disability.

6.4.4    If it is determined that an undue hardship exists to the City, or there could be a direct threat to the health and safety of the employee or others, the City may determine that a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential function of the position does not exist. The evaluation of whether an undue hardship or direct threat exists will be conducted for any employment practice on a case-by-case basis, including examinations requiring physical agility or physical skills.

6.4.5    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been granted enforcement authority for the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Remedies available to individuals seeking relief under the ADA are the same as set forth in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. All supervisors of the City of Renton are required to become familiar with the provisions of the Act and are expected to adhere to it when making employment decisions.

6.5    Facilities: All future construction and renovation of City-owned buildings and facilities shall be carried out in accordance with the Washington State Barrier-Free Code regulations, and the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), EXCEPT, if full compliance with the requirements of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines is structurally or operationally infeasible, structurally impracticable, or where the unique characteristics of terrain prevent the incorporation of accessibility features, the city shall comply with the requirements to the extent it is not structurally or operationally infeasible or structurally impracticable.

6.6    Grievance Procedure: Any member of the public, job applicant, or employee may request a hearing and investigation of a complaint regarding compliance with the ADA through the City’s established ADA Grievance Procedure (see Exhibit B).

6.7    Public Meetings: Public meetings, conferences, examinations and training programs will be held at accessible locations and in such a manner that qualified people with disabilities are able to participate fully. Notices of such gatherings will include the information that it will be held in an accessible location.

Qualified people with disabilities shall not be discriminated against in participation on boards, commissions, or on advisory and planning committees.

6.8    Reasonable Accommodation: Requesting Accommodation:

6.8.1    Any applicant for employment, current employee, or individual with a disability seeking to participate in a City program or activity, or his/her representative, may request reasonable accommodation. The Human Resources and Risk Management Department shall provide persons requesting accommodation a Reasonable Accommodation Request Form. It is the responsibility of the requester to complete in full and submit the form to the ADA Coordinator.

6.8.2    Although the responsibility for requesting the reasonable accommodation rests primarily with the applicant, employee, or participant, the department ADA Liaison and the City’s ADA Coordinator are available as resources in the preparation, explanation, and dissemination of reasonable accommodation information or technical assistance.

6.8.3    The determination whether to provide an accommodation is made on a case-by-case basis. This is an individual process through which the ADA Coordinator, the department head and the individual with a disability discuss and arrange for the necessary (and reasonable) changes. The department must make a “reasonable effort” to determine the appropriate accommodation. Primary consideration should be given to the preferences of the individual when deciding on accommodation; however, the department has the ultimate discretion to choose between effective accommodations.

6.8.4    If the request is approved, the ADA Coordinator will notify the requester and make the necessary arrangements for the department head to implement arrangements. If the request is denied, the requester may file a request for reconsideration with the ADA Coordinator within thirty (30) calendar days.

The review process, concluding with the approval or denial recommendation, shall be completed in fifteen (15) working days from the date of the request, unless the requester and the department head agree to an extension of time and inform the ADA Coordinator. If a request for accommodation is approved, the accommodation shall be provided without undue delay.

6.9    Service Animals: Individuals with disabilities accompanied by service animals will be afforded access to all City of Renton facilities, programs, services, and activities that are open to other members of the public, unless the service animal's presence or behavior creates a fundamental alteration to the program or service being provided, or presents a direct threat to safety. In addition, the City of Renton will afford access to individuals, with or without a disability, accompanied by service animals-in-training. Individuals and their accompanying service animals-in-training will be subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to individuals with disabilities and their service animals.

6.10    Training: Training will be provided periodically for employees regarding City policies and practices and the legal protections afforded individuals with disabilities, and to develop employee sensitivity to the needs and aspirations of individuals with disabilities.

6.11    Undue Hardship: Procedure for determining undue hardship:

6.11.1    The employee will meet with the ADA Coordinator (“Coordinator”) to discuss the requested accommodation.

6.11.2    The Coordinator will review undue hardships by considering:

a.    The nature and cost of the accommodation in relation to the size;

b.    The financial resources of the City;

c.    The nature and structure of the operation;

d.    The number of employees;

e.    The rate of job vacancies;

f.    The number and location of facilities;

g.    The number and variety of job functions performed in the workplace; and

h.    The impact of the accommodation on the nature or operation of the agency.

6.11.3    The Coordinator will provide a decision to the employee.

6.11.4    If it is determined that the reasonable accommodation is an undue hardship to the City, the Coordinator will explore other resources for funding (e.g., Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department of Services for the Blind, the Department of Labor and Industries, tax deductions or other tax credits to offset the cost of an accommodation), and give the employee the option to pay the portion determined to be an undue burden to the City.

6.11.5    Employees or applicants who are dissatisfied with the decision(s) pertaining to his/her accommodation request may file a request for reconsideration with the ADA Coordinator, within thirty (30) calendar days, for a final decision. If the individual believes the decision is based on discriminatory reasons, then he or she may file a complaint internally through the City’s grievance procedure as outlined in this Policy (see Exhibit B).

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) (Exhibit A)

City of Renton

Guidelines for Reasonable Accommodation in Employment Practices

The City of Renton is committed to the fair and equal employment of qualified individuals with a disability. . Reasonable accommodation is the key to this non-discrimination policy. While many individuals with disabilities can work without accommodation, other qualified applicants and employees face barriers to employment without the accommodation process. It is the policy of the City of Renton to reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, accommodations will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities when such accommodations are directly related to the ability of the qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job, competing for a job, or to enjoy equal employment services. This policy applies to all applicants, employees, and employees seeking promotional opportunities.

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, an employment practice, or the work environment that makes it possible for a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity.

Reasonable accommodation applies to three aspects of employment:

1. To assure equal opportunity in the employment process;

2. To enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job; and

3. To enable an employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment

To determine if the disability is a “qualified disability” in accordance with the ADA:

An individual with a disability is a person who:

1. Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;

2. Has a record of such an impairment; or

3. Is regarded as having such an impairment.

EEOC Guidelines with respect to ADA specifically state that an employer11 may require a medical examination to determine a “qualified disability” when the examination is job-related and consistent with business necessity. The Guidelines also state that a medical examination may be required if an employee requests an accommodation on the basis of disability to determine if the employee has a “qualified disability,” is entitled to an accommodation, and to help identify an effective accommodation.

Procedure - Current Employees

1.    The City of Renton will inform all employees that this accommodation policy can be made available in accessible formats.

2.    The employee shall inform their supervisor or the ADA Coordinator of the need for an accommodation.

3.    The ADA Coordinator may request documentation of the individual’s functional limitations to support the request. Any medical documentation must be collected and maintained on separate forms and in separate, locked files. No one will be told or have access to medical information unless the disability might require emergency treatment.

4.    Determine if the employee is a “qualified individual with a disability” (i.e., an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modification to rules, policies, or practices, or the removal of architectural barriers, meets the essential eligibility requirements of the position).

5.    When a qualified individual with a disability has requested an accommodation, the employer shall, in consultation with the individual:

a.    Determine if the individual can perform the essential functions of the position with or without accommodation. The employer (see footnote 1) may require a medical examination to make this determination.

b.    Discuss the purpose and essential functions of the particular job involved and the precise job-related limitation. Completion of a step-by-step job analysis may be necessary.

c.    Determine if the employee is “otherwise qualified” for the position.

d.    Discuss with the employee the employee’s specific physical abilities and/or limitations as they relate to essential job functions.

e.    Identify barriers to performance.

f.    Identify the potential accommodations and assess the effectiveness each would have in allowing the individual to perform the essential functions of the job.

g.    Select and implement the accommodation that is the most appropriate for both the individual and the employer. While an individual’s preference will be given consideration, the City of Renton is free to choose among equally effective accommodations and may choose the one that is less expensive or easier to provide.

6.    The ADA Coordinator will work with the employee to obtain technical assistance, as needed, and provide a decision to the employee within a reasonable amount of time.

7.     If an accommodation cannot overcome the existing barriers or if the accommodation would cause an undue hardship on the operation of the business, the employee and the Human Resources and Risk Management Administrator, Department Administrator, and the ADA Coordinator shall work together to determine whether reassignment may be an appropriate accommodation.

Procedure - Job applicants

1.    The Human Resources and Risk Management Department will determine if the individual can perform the essential functions of the position with or without accommodation. The employer (see footnote 1) may require a medical examination to make this determination. The Human Resources and Risk Management Department will determine if the employee is “otherwise qualified” for the position.

2.    Determine if the potential employee is a “qualified individual with a disability” (i.e., an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modification to rules, policies, or practices, or the removal of architectural barriers, meets the essential eligibility requirements of the position).

3.     The Human Resources Manager will discuss with the employee the employee’s specific physical abilities and/or limitations as they relate to essential job functions.

4.    Identify barriers to performance:

The job applicant shall inform the ADA Coordinator of the need for an accommodation. The ADA Coordinator will discuss the needed accommodation and possible alternatives with the applicant.

5.    The ADA Coordinator, along with the Department Administrator, and Human Resources and Risk Management Administrator, will make a decision regarding the request for accommodation and, if approved, take the necessary steps to see that the accommodation is provided.

The requirement for a medical examination may be made by a Department Administrator with the concurrence of the ADA Coordinator, the Human Resources and Risk Management Administrator, and the Chief Administrative Officer.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (Exhibit B)

Grievance Procedure

City of Renton

Scope:     Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) require that public entities like the City of Renton have a procedure to address allegations that City facilities, programs, services, and activities are not accessible to people with disabilities. This grievance procedure is established to provide for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by the U.S. Department of Justice regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA provides that no otherwise qualified individual with a qualified disability shall, solely by reason of such disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in programs, services, activities, or facilities provided by a public entity. Nothing herein shall be construed as providing rights and obligations different from those required under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A.    ADA Coordinator: The City’s Risk Manager has been designated to coordinate ADA compliance efforts. The ADA Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the City to comply with Title II of _______. The ADA Coordinator is also responsible to hear and/or cause investigation of any concern by a member of the public or employee regarding discriminatory practices in programs, services, or facilities provided by the City. Suggestions, requests or concerns should be addressed to: The City of Renton ADA Coordinator, Human Resources and Risk Management Department, 1055 S. Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057.

B.    Processing Complaints:

1.    The complaint should be in writing and contain information about the alleged discrimination, such as the name, address, and telephone number of complainant; and location, date, and description of the problem. Alternative means of filing complaints, such as personal interviews or a tape recording of the complaint, will be made available for persons with disabilities upon request. Complaint forms are available in the Human Resources and Risk Management Department.

2.    The complaint should be submitted by the grievant and/or his/her designee as soon as possible, but no later than 180 calendar days after the alleged violation, to: Attn: ADA Coordinator, City of Renton Human Resources and Risk Management Dept., 1055 S. Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057.

3.    Processing of allegations of discrimination that occurred before this procedure was in place, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

4.    An investigation, as may be appropriate, shall follow the filing of a complaint. The investigation shall be conducted by the person(s) designated by the ADA Coordinator, with concurrence of the Human Resources and Risk Management Administrator. A Review Board may be consulted during the investigation of the complaint. These rules contemplate informal but thorough investigations, affording all interested persons and their representatives, if any, an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to a complaint.

5.    A Review Board may be convened, consisting of two department managers, two employee representatives, and the ADA Coordinator (who shall have standing appointment).

6.     The ADA Coordinator will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and the possible resolutions within 15 calendar days of receipt of the complaint. Within 60 calendar days of the meeting, the ADA Coordinator will respond in writing as to the validity of the complaint and a description of any resolution developed by the ADA Coordinator, and where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant, such as large print, Braille, or audio tape. The response will explain the position of the City of Renton and offer options for substantive resolution of the complaint.

7.    The complainant may request further review by another party of the case if dissatisfied with the resolution. The request for reconsideration must be made within thirty (30) days of the response, to the City of Renton’s Human Resources and Risk Management Administrator, by giving notice through the City Clerk. The Human Resources and Risk Management Administrator shall review the records of said complaint, may conduct further investigation when necessary to obtain additional relevant information, and shall issue his or her decision within thirty (30) calendar days of the filing of the request for reconsideration unless the complexities of the complaint require additional time. A copy of the reconsideration decision will be sent to the Chief Administrative Officer for review prior to mailing the reconsideration decision letter to the complainant.

8.    If the complainant is not satisfied with the reconsideration decision made by the Human Resources and Risk Management Administrator, the complaint will be referred to the Mayor for a ruling. The decision of the Mayor is final. A record of the Mayor’s determination will be maintained in the ADA Coordinator’s file for three years after the final ruling.

C.    Recordkeeping: All written complaints received by the ADA Coordinator, appeals to the HR & RM Administrator, and responses from these two offices will be retained by the City of Renton for at least three years.

D.    Alternative Remedies: The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint filed hereunder shall not be impaired by the person’s pursuit of other remedies, such as the filing of an ADA complaint with the responsible federal department or agency. Use of this grievance procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.


1

The requirement for a medical examination may be made by a Department Administrator with the concurrence of the ADA Coordinator, the Human Resources and Risk Management Administrator, and the Chief Administrative Officer.