[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Seaside Heights 2-19-1997 by Ord. No. 97-1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Administrative offices — See Ch. 5.
Persons employed by the Borough of Seaside Heights in a position provided by this chapter shall possess good health and freedom from disabling physical and mental defects which impair the proper performance of the required duties, or which might endanger the health and safety of oneself or others. Persons with mental or physical disabilities are eligible as long as they can perform the essential functions of the job position after reasonable accommodation is made to their known limitations. If the accommodation cannot be made because it would cause the employer undue hardship, such person may not be eligible.
The Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Borough Council, shall appoint one employee to serve as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator. The ADA Coordinator shall be familiar with the requirements of the ADA and coordinate borough efforts to comply with and carry out borough responsibilities under the ADA and the rules promulgated pursuant thereto, including the investigation of complaints alleging violations of the ADA.
The borough shall make the name, office address and telephone number of the ADA Coordinator available to any interested individuals.
The Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Borough Council, may appoint an individual to serve as Deputy ADA Coordinator. The Deputy ADA Coordinator shall assist the ADA Coordinator and perform such duties as required by the ADA Coordinator.
The term of office for the ADA Coordinator and Deputy ADA Coordinator shall be for one year, commencing on January 1 of the year of appointment and ending on December 31 of the year of appointment.
The borough shall disseminate sufficient information to inform all interested persons of the rights and protections afforded by ADA and the rules promulgated pursuant thereto related to the responsibilities of the Borough of Seaside Heights. This information shall be provided in a manner consistent with the federal rules for effective communication.
The borough may fulfill this requirement by publication of information in handbooks, manuals or pamphlets which describe the borough's programs and activities, by the display of posters in service centers and other public places or the broadcast of information on radio or television.
The borough shall adopt and publish the following grievance procedure which provides for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action that is prohibited by the ADA and the rules promulgated pursuant thereto:
Grievances shall be processed promptly and expeditiously and shall be adjudicated according to the terms of the procedure provided herein.
Formal grievances and appeals shall be in writing.
Communications and decisions concerning formal grievances shall be in writing.
A written complaint signed by the grievant shall be filed with the ADA Coordinator within 15 days after the alleged violation. The ADA Coordinator shall forward a copy of any written complaint received to the Mayor and Borough Council.
The complaint shall identify the parties and contain a clear and concise statement of the facts that constitute the alleged discrimination on the basis of disability.
The ADA Coordinator shall review the grievance and hold a hearing.
A grievant shall be permitted a representative at all levels of the grievance procedure and may produce witnesses for the purpose of providing testimony relevant to the alleged discrimination on the basis of disability.
A written determination shall be issued by the ADA Coordinator and a copy forwarded by certified mail to the grievant no later than 30 days after the date of the hearing on the complaint. A copy of said determination shall be provided to the Mayor and Borough Council.
If the grievant is dissatisfied with the answer submitted by the ADA Coordinator, the grievant may appeal the answer to the ADA Advisory Board within seven days after receipt of the written answer. A hearing shall be scheduled within seven days after receipt of the grievance appeal. The hearing granted by the ADA Advisory Board will take place within 15 days after the scheduled date is submitted to the grievant.
Minutes of the hearing shall be kept, or in the alternative, the hearing may be recorded.
The ADA Advisory Board shall make its determination regarding the appeal within 15 days from the date of the hearing and thereafter make the appropriate written report to the Mayor and Borough Council setting forth its findings and recommendations. The Mayor and Borough Council shall review the findings and recommendations of the ADA Advisory Board and make a final determination on the appeal.
The ADA Coordinator shall maintain the files and records of the borough relating to complaints filed.
Failure by the grievant to process a grievance or appeal the decision of the ADA Coordinator within the specified time limit shall render the grievance as settled in favor of the borough. Failure by the borough to issue a decision within the specified time limit shall render the grievance advanced to the next level. The aforementioned time limits may, however, be extended by mutual consent of the parties.
This grievance procedure shall be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons, to meet appropriate due process standards and to assure that the borough complied with the requirements of the ADA and the regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
The ADA Advisory Board shall evaluate all borough programs and services to ensure equal opportunity and equal access.
The ADA Advisory Board shall distribute the self-evaluation plan and permit comment thereon by all interested parties.
The self-evaluation shall in all respects comply with the federal rules adopted pursuant to the ADA and shall be kept on file for a period of three years.
The hiring practices of the borough shall not discriminate against persons with disabilities.
All job descriptions shall precisely and accurately describe the essential functions of the job performed by each employee.
Job applications shall pertain strictly to job performance.
All job interviews shall be limited to questions concerning the applicant's ability to perform the job.
The interviewer shall not inquire about disabilities or conduct tests that screen out people with disabilities.
Questions about the applicant's addiction to alcohol or drugs shall not be asked.
The borough shall not conduct medical examinations or inquiries of job applicants prior to an offer of employment. The borough may, however, require medical examinations and/or inquiries after making an offer of employment to a job applicant and before the applicant begins employment with the borough. The borough may condition an offer of employment on the results of the medical examination or inquiry. If the borough chooses to conduct such medical examinations or inquiries, all entering employees in the same job category shall be subject to the examination or inquiry regardless of disability.
Any medical information obtained from employee medical examinations and inquiries shall be maintained on separate forms and shall be treated as confidential and not kept in an employee's personnel file.
Persons with mental or physical disabilities are eligible as long as they can perform the essential functions of the job after reasonable accommodation is made to their known limitations. If the accommodation cannot be made because it would cause the employer undue hardship, such person may not be eligible.
The borough shall make reasonable accommodations to make its facilities accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. An individual shall not be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs or activities of the borough due to disability.
The borough shall make reasonable accommodations to its facilities as required by the ADA.
The borough shall prepare a transition plan setting forth the steps necessary to complete the structural changes in all public facilities. All interested persons, including individuals with disabilities, shall be able to participate in the development of the transition plan. After completion, a copy of the transition plan shall be made available for public inspection. The transition plan shall include, at a minimum, the following:
Identification of physical obstacles in the borough's facilities that limit the accessibility of its programs or activities to individuals with disabilities.
Description in detail of the methods that will be used to make the facilities accessible.
Specify the schedule for taking the steps necessary to achieve compliance.
Indicate the official responsible for implementation of the plan.
Indicate why certain borough facilities cannot be made accessible.
Effective immediately, the new construction and alteration provisions of the ADA and the regulations adopted pursuant thereto shall apply to all borough construction.
The borough shall take whatever steps may be necessary to ensure that communications with applicants, participants and members of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with others.
Auxiliary aids and services shall be furnished to afford individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in and enjoy the benefits of the borough's services, programs and activities.
The borough shall equip emergency systems with telecommunications devices for the deaf (TDD's) and computer modems.
All borough communications, including the public notices required by § 21-4 of this chapter, shall comply with the communication requirements of the ADA and the regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
The borough shall place an appropriate access statement on all public communications.