[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Webster 10-11-1984 as L.L. No. 3-1984. Sections 38-4 and 38-12 amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
Personnel policies — See Ch. 53.
This grievance procedure is being adopted pursuant to 31 CFR 51.55(d) and regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, in order to resolve allegations of unlawful discrimination because of handicaps. The purpose of this procedure is to assure that all persons with any handicap are made aware of the mechanism governing the enforcement of the rights and remedies provided for under the 504 regulations and to provide for an expeditious investigation, hearing and equitable resolution of any complaints alleging any action prohibited under Subpart A of the 504 regulations. Therefore, the following provisions shall be applicable to the due process standards and grievance procedures for such complaints.
This procedure relates to any allegations of violation of the regulations implementing Section 504 except for:
Grievances must be filed under this procedure within one year of the day following the alleged discriminatory act or the date on which the grievant first knew or reasonably should have known of such act if that date is later.
The Town of Webster shall publicize the fact that any grievance based on an allegation of discrimination due to handicap may be brought to the Building Official of the Town of Webster (hereafter the "grievance officer") for resolution.
At the time of receipt of the initial grievance, the grievance officer shall advise the grievant that he or she may utilize the efforts of the town to attempt to effect an equitable resolution of the grievance and of the right to file the grievance directly with some other appropriate outside jurisdiction. Compliance with these notification provisions shall be made by submitting to the grievant a preprinted form with a space for the grievant to sign. The grievance officer shall retain a copy of the signed notice. The text of said notice is set forth in Exhibit A.
The 504 grievance procedure does not replace an existing grievance procedure, nor does it provide for concurrent jurisdiction or hearings. Therefore, outside enforcement agencies such as the New York State Division of Human Rights, the Office for Civil Rights in the United States Departments of Health and Human Services and Education and federal or state courts retain their jurisdiction, which grievants may involve if they so choose.
An election by the grievant to invoke the jurisdiction of any outside enforcement agency shall bar such grievant from instituting or continuing proceedings under this procedure during the pendency of such other proceeding or if such other proceeding has been determined adversely against the grievant.
The Town of Webster shall provide special assistance to enable the grievant to understand the proceedings and grievance procedures and to participate in them if the grievant is unable to do so (e.g., sign language interpreters for deaf people who communicate only in that way or a reader or braille copies for blind persons). In addition, facilities used for the purpose of hearings and discussion shall be accessible to the grievant.
The grievant shall be advised by the grievance officer at the time of the receipt of the complaint that such grievant shall have the right to engage and have present a representative at any stage of the grievance procedure.
Grievances filed under this procedure must be submitted in writing on the form attached as Exhibit A.
Nothing contained herein shall obviate or supersede rights or procedural safeguards contained in other federal or state laws for handicapped persons if such rights or procedural safeguards are greater in scope than those contained herein.
The Town of Webster is adopting this 504 grievance procedure and structuring it to operate in concert with similar procedures under other civil rights or affirmative action programs. This procedure will be available as the first means of redress for those individuals desiring to utilize it.
The grievance procedure will be under the managerial supervision of the Building Official of the Town of Webster, hereby designated as the grievance officer.
In the event that a grievant elects to present a grievance for consideration and resolution to the grievance officer, the grievance officer shall comply with the following:
The grievance officer shall notify the grievant of his or her rights to proceed before the Division of Human Rights, the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Departments of Health and Human Services and Education or the right to proceed in the courts as a private cause of action on the basis of such grievance and furnish the grievant with the notice form for signature (Exhibit A).
If the complainant elects to proceed with the grievance under this procedure, the grievance officer shall receive any complaint of alleged discrimination, shall assist the grievant in defining the charge, shall assist the grievant in filling out the appropriate form (Exhibit A) and shall sign and date the completed form. A copy shall be given to the grievant.
The grievance officer shall notify the grievant at the time of the receipt of the complaint, that such grievant shall have the right to engage and have present a representative at any stage of the grievance procedure.
The grievance officer shall then confer with the appropriate Town of Webster department head or officer where the grievance arose and obtain a statement as to the facts and as to the reason for the policy or practice against which the grievance was directed. Opportunity should be given to permit the grievant and the officer or department head to rebut contentions of fact and to answer arguments made by the other. The parties should try to resolve the matter by mutual agreement within 15 working days.
In those instances where grievances are referred to individual officers or department heads, at the conclusion of the fifteen-day period, whether or not agreement has been reached, the matter must be referred to the grievance officer for review and final decision. This step must be completed within an additional 15 working days.
If a settlement is reached between the officer or department head and the grievant, the agreement should be reduced to writing, signed by the grievant and the officer or department head and approved by the grievance officer and the case closed.
In instances where agreement is not reached within the initial 15 working days (or 30 working days when an officer or department head is involved), the grievance officer shall, within an additional five working days, forward a report of the unresolved grievance to the aggrieved individual.
The grievant can request a reconsideration of the case in instances where he or she is dissatisfied with the resolution. The request for reconsideration should be made within 15 working days to the Clerk of the Town of Webster Zoning Board of Appeals, which shall, within a reasonable time thereafter, conduct a hearing upon such grievance and make its determination thereof.
The grievance officer shall keep a record of all grievances and the status and determination of the same. Such records may be inspected by the State Advocate for the Disabled.
These rules shall be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons, to meet the appropriate due process standards and to assure that the Town of Webster complies with Section 504 and Office of Revenue Sharing regulations.