Section 504 of the Rehibilitation Act/ Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance: Employees - January 2005
- Notice of the Board’s policy on non-discrimination in employment practices will be posted through annual newspaper notices, written in the Board Policy Handbook, posted throughout the district, and published in any district statement regarding the availability of employment positions.
- Information regarding the District’s policy on non-discrimination in employment practices will be provided to potential employees in recruitment and interview settings.
- In the planning of training sessions for employees, availability of training sessions (including physical access to the training site) will not be limited so as to discriminate against employees with disabilities.
- In determining hiring, transfer or promotion of employees, placement will not be determined or influenced by any employee’s disabling condition. It is the prerogative of the employer, however, to determine office, classroom, or other area of work based on already accessible work areas.
- Each job description is written to:
- Identify any environmental factors that could create a barrier for a person with a disability;
- Ensure that all essential physical, mental and intellectual qualifications have been defined and justified;
- Identify the types of abilities which would qualify a person to fulfill the essential functions of a job.
- “Reasonable accommodation" may include for employees, where such would not impose “undue hardship”.
- making facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities;
- job restructuring and part-time or modified work schedules;
- acquisition or modification of equipment or devices;
- the provision of readers or interpreters and other similar actions.
(This is not an all-inclusive list of possible accommodations.)
- The District will not use employment tests or other selection criteria that tend to screen out persons with disabilities unless those criteria are demonstrably job related.
Reasonable Accommodation Requests/Procedures
- An employee who believes he/she requires an accommodation to meet the essential functions of the job may request an accommodation.
- The employee must initiate a written request for reasonable accommodation accompanied by documentation of the condition, which may qualify as a disability. The type of documentation required will depend on the disability and can be, among others, medical psychological or diagnostic.
- When “B” above is complete and submitted to the site supervisor, that supervisor contacts the District Section 504/ADA Coordinator. The District 504/ADA Coordinator is the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity Services. Options will be explored and a determination made of what occurs next.
- At no time prior to this contact should the administrator agree to a specific accommodation or make a financial commitment to the employee. Many accommodations can be accomplished on site with no need for modification and at no cost.
- Options may include, but are not limited to, the development of an employee accommodation plan, physical access request, further medical clarification, job restructuring and/or transfer.
- When the necessary accommodation is complicated or requires District funding, the District 504/ADA Committee may need to be involved for physical access issues and before financial commitments are made. Any consideration of job restructuring or transfer must include the involvement of the Human Resources Department. When necessary, the 504/ADA Physical Access Committee will assist the administration in determining the most cost effective accommodation that meet the need, considering also the employee’s suggestions on his/her Accommodation Request.
- All accommodations agreed upon and initiated are to be documented by the employee’s supervisor and the 504/ADA Coordinator using the Employee Accommodation form. A copy of this is sent to the 504/ADA Coordinator, who keeps confidential records on disability accommodations separate from the Human Resources Department personnel files. No disability records will be kept in the Human Resources Department personnel files.
- APS considers all requests for accommodation to determine if the request is reasonable and necessary to meet the essential functions of a job.
- All accommodation requests require there be an interactive process between the Supervisor, Employee and the District’s Section 504/ADA Coordinator or his/her representative in order to determine if an accommodation can be made.
Dispute Resolution Procedures
APS provides a dispute resolution process for Section 504/ADA complaints. The procedure provides for the prompt and equitable resolution of the dispute. The procedure follows these steps:
- The complainant will file a written complaint, stating the specific facts of his/her dispute, the alleged discriminatory act, and the remedy requested with the Section 504/ADA Coordinator.
- The Section 504/ADA Coordinator will make all reasonable efforts to resolve the matter informally at the administrative level most immediate to the complaint.
- In the event the complaint cannot be resolved informally, the District will convene an informal hearing no later than ten (10) working days after the filing of the complaint. At the hearing, both the complainant and the administrator responsible for the disputed action may present testimony and documents relevant to the complaint. Witnesses may be called and cross-examined. Within ten (10) working days of the hearing, the hearing officer will provide a written copy of his/her determination to both parties. The complainant may appeal the outcome of the hearing to the Superintendent within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the determination. The appeal must be in writing. It must be submitted with copies of the original complaint, the minutes of the hearing and the written determination. The Superintendent may, at his/her discretion, convene within ten (10) working days a second hearing at which the parties may present additional testimony and argument.
- Within ten (10) working days of a second hearing or initial hearing, the Superintendent provides both parties with a written decision.
- Timelines set forth herein may be waived upon mutual consent or showing of good cause.
- The complainant will be notified of his/her rights of appeal at each step of the process.
NSBA/NEPN Classification: GBA
Revised: May 1995
Revised: February 1996
Revised: April 1996
Revised: May 1997
Revised: May, 2000
Revised: January 2005