[Ord. No. 16-08 §1, 3-28-2016]
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12132, and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, the City of Republic, Missouri, has dual ongoing obligations to those with physical and mental disabilities. Employees with disabilities shall be given reasonable accommodations that will enable them to perform their jobs. Citizens with disabilities shall be given reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to local government. Beyond legal obligations, the City has a strong institutional interest in providing reasonable accommodations that will allow employees and citizens with disabilities to continue to contribute and participate at the highest levels. The City is committed to careful consideration of all requests for reasonable accommodation of a disability. The City makes every effort to equitably provide services to all persons.
The following guidelines have been prepared which describe the City of Republic's policies and general procedures for processing reasonable accommodation requests by job applicants, employees and citizens. Each department will strive to work in coordination with other departments in efficiently resolving each request for reasonable accommodation. Each department should make every effort to wisely and expeditiously facilitate the procurement of equipment, assistive devices and services requested by job applicants, employees and citizens with disabilities. The process for providing reasonable accommodations requires the cooperation of employees, their supervisors, and administration to achieve a common goal: to ensure to the maximum extent possible that qualified individuals are given the reasonable accommodations necessary to fully integrate within the government of the City of Republic.
Any person with one or more disabilities, or his or her agent, may request a reasonable accommodation in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with respect to the services, activities, programs, benefits or employment and hiring practices of the City of Republic. Nothing in this Section requires persons with disabilities or their representative to seek reasonable accommodation under this Section.
Editor's Note: Section 1 of this ordinance repealed former Art. I, Handicapped Grievance Procedure, as adopted and amended CC 1999 § 2-141 — 2-142.
[Ord. No. 16-08 §1, 3-28-2016]
Right To File. Any individual or group representing an individual who believes that he/she has been discriminated against in a City-sponsored service, program, activity or benefit because of disability status shall have the right to file a written complaint using the City's standard request for reasonable accommodation form, being submitted by e-mail, fax or in person at City Hall or to the ADA Coordinator. A request for reasonable accommodation may be submitted alternately using a variety of formats, including recorded oral statement. The request for reasonable accommodation should contain pertinent information to thoroughly evaluate the request such as the following:
The full name of the person requesting reasonable accommodation.
Full contact information, which may include: phone number, alternate phone numbers, mailing address, physical address, and e-mail address.
Location of incident, if applicable.
Suggested corrective actions that may be acceptable by the person requesting the reasonable accommodation.
Name of government entity or department which is believed to have discriminated.
Contact information of witnesses, and additional pertinent information.
Nature of the disability that requires reasonable accommodation.
The person requesting the reasonable accommodation may also provide information as to whether the reasonable accommodation may afford benefit to others.
Assistance In Filing. The City of Republic will, upon request, provide assistance to the person requesting the reasonable accommodation as necessary to complete and submit the request for reasonable accommodation. Upon the City's receipt of the necessary information to process the request form, the City will use the information to complete the request for reasonable accommodation form.
Assistance In Appeal. The City of Republic will provide the assistance necessary to any person requesting the reasonable accommodation to appeal a denial of a request for reasonable accommodation to ensure the appeal process is accessible to the person making the request. The person requesting the reasonable accommodation is entitled to be represented at all stages of the proceedings identified in this Section by a person designated by the person making the request.
Confidentiality Of Medical Information. Should the information provided by the person requesting reasonable accommodation to the City of Republic include medical information or records, including records indicating the medical condition, diagnosis or medical history of the person requesting reasonable accommodation, the person requesting reasonable accommodation may, at the time of submitting such medical information, request that the City of Republic, to the extent allowed by law, treat such medical information as confidential.
Request Of Medical Information. The City of Republic shall provide written notice to the person requesting reasonable accommodation, and any designee representing that person in the application proceeding, of any request received by the City of Republic for disclosure of the medical information or documentation which the person requesting reasonable accommodation has previously requested be treated as confidential. The City of Republic will cooperate with the person requesting accommodation, to the extent allowed by law, in actions initiated by the person requesting reasonable accommodation to oppose the disclosure of such medical information or documentation.
Jurisdiction. Under the authority of the City Administrator, the ADA Coordinator shall consider and act on requests for reasonable accommodation. When a request for reasonable accommodation in the hiring and application processes is filed with the City of Republic, it will be referred to the ADA Coordinator and the Director of Human Resources for review and consideration. When a request for reasonable accommodation in the workplace is made by a current employee, it will be referred to the director of the appropriately corresponding department and the ADA Coordinator. When a request for reasonable accommodation in City-provided services, programs or activities is received, the City Administrator shall refer the matter to the ADA Coordinator and appropriate departmental director for appropriate response. Requests for reasonable accommodation requiring the attention of more than one department shall be overseen by the City Administrator or his designee. The ADA Coordinator shall serve to aid in determination, facilitation and coordination of any request requiring more than one department. Within this Section hereafter, City personnel authorized by the City Administrator shall be referred to as staff.
Request Procedure. Requests for reasonable accommodation and reporting of any findings and determinations for reasonable accommodation under the ADA will be administered according to the most recent edition of the City's request for reasonable accommodation procedure as established by the City Administrator and adopted by City Council resolution, and according to any standards adopted pursuant to this Section.
Findings For Reasonable Accommodation.
The following findings, while not exhaustive of all considerations and findings that may be relevant, must be made before any action is taken to approve or deny a request for reasonable accommodation and must be incorporated into the record relating to such approval or denial:
Whether the requested accommodation would require an alteration to the fundamental nature of the relevant service, activity, program, benefit, job description or hiring practices of the City of Republic.
Whether the requested accommodation would impose undue financial or administrative burdens on the City of Republic.
A request for reasonable accommodation shall not be denied for reasons which violate the provisions of the ADA. This order does not obligate the City to grant any accommodation request unless required by the provisions of the ADA or applicable Missouri State law.
In addition to the accessible format utilized for the response, any notice of determination shall be in writing and sent to the person requesting reasonable accommodation by certified mail, return receipt requested and by regular mail. All determinations shall state the grounds therefor, and shall give notice of the right to appeal, including stating the right to request reasonable accommodation in the appeals process.
Appeals processes for reasonable accommodation under the ADA will be administered according to the ADA, the adopted edition of the City's request for reasonable accommodation procedure, and according to any standards adopted pursuant to this Section.
Appeals shall be made to the City Administrator, who shall be ultimately responsible for final decisions of ADA requests for reasonable accommodation. All determinations of the appeal process made by the City Administrator shall address and be based on the finding that the reasonable accommodation requested is necessary to afford one or more disabled persons equal opportunity to local government services, activities and programs, but does not place undue financial burden upon the City nor alter the fundamental nature of those services, activities and programs.
City Administrator Authorized. The City Administrator is authorized and directed to develop and maintain a comprehensive and cohesive policy consistent with the provisions of this Section. The policy, along with any associated forms and procedures, shall be designated as the request for reasonable accommodation. Once adopted by the City Council, a copy of the request for reasonable accommodation shall be kept on file by the City Clerk. The City Administrator is further authorized to make periodic updates or modifications to the adopted program, conditioned upon filing the updated or modified program with the City Clerk for public comment, followed by a sixty-day period to allow for public comment. After the sixty-day comment period, the proposed updates or modifications together with any public comments shall be presented to City Council for consideration and action by resolution of the City Council.
Fees. The City shall not impose any additional fees or costs in connection with a request for reasonable accommodation under the provisions of this Section or an appeal of a denial of such request by the City Administrator. Nothing in this Article obligates the City to pay attorney fees or costs of the person requesting reasonable accommodation.
Stay Of Enforcement. While a request for reasonable accommodation or an appeal of a denial of said application is pending before the City, the City will not enforce corrective action in relation to a specific request for reasonable accommodation made by an employee or person requesting accommodation. The ADA does not override the responsibility of the City to prevent an issue of public safety when a requested accommodation may be seen as a public safety threat.
Recordkeeping. All concerns or grievances received by the ADA Coordinator or designee, appeals to the City Administrator or designee, and responses from these two offices will be retained by the City of Republic for three (3) years for citizen requests and seven (7) years for applicant and employee requests or as deemed applicable.