Grievance Procedure

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The following grievance Procedure is established to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It may be used by anyone who wishes to file a complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in employment practices and policies or the provision of services, activities, programs, and benefits by the Town of Southbridge.

1. The complaint should be in writing and contain information about the alleged discrimination such as name, address, phone number of the complainant and location, date and description of the problem. Reasonable accommodations, such as personal interviews or a tape recording of the complaint, will be made available for persons with disabilities who are unable to submit a written complaint.

The complaint should be submitted by the grievant and/or his/her designee as soon as possible, but no later than 30 calendar days after the alleged violation to:

ADA Coordinator
Town of Southbridge
41 Elm Street
Southbridge, MA 01550
Tel: (508) 764-5405

2. Within 15 days after receipt of the complaint, the ADA Coordinator will meet with the complainant to discuss the nature of the complaint and possible resolutions. Within 15 days after the meeting, the ADA Coordinator will (1) resolve the dispute through reasonable accommodation; (2) dismiss the complaint as not relevant to the handicapped regulations (ADA); or (3) refer the complaint to the Commission on Disabilities for review. The complainant, the Commission on Disabilities and the Town Council must be notified of which action is taken either in writing or by other appropriate formal notification (such as audiotape). The response will explain the position of the Town of Southbridge and offer options for substantive resolution of the complaint.

3. If the response by the ADA Coordinator does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the complainant and/or his/her designee may appeal the decision of the ADA Coordinator within 15 days after receipt of the response to the Town's Commission on Disabilities. Within 15 days after receipt of the appeal, the Commission on Disabilities will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions. The ADA Coordinator will not participate in this meeting. The complainant must be notified of the meeting and may be present with counsel if he/she so chooses. Within 15 days, the Commission on Disabilities will (1) resolve the dispute through reasonable accommodation; (2) dismiss the complaint as not relevant to the handicapped regulations; or (3) devise a plan for the needed structural or program changes to reach compliance. The complainant, ADA Coordinator and the Town Council must be notified of which action is taken either in writing or by other appropriate formal notification (such as audiotape).

4. If the complainant is not satisfied with the response of the Commission on Disabilities, within 15 days he/she and/or his/her designee may file a formal complaint with the Town Council (Legislative Body). Within 15 days of the formal notice of complaint, the Town Council will meet to review the complaint. The complainant must be notified of the meeting and may be present with counsel if he/she so chooses. Within 15 days of their meeting, the Town Council will (1) resolve the complaint through reasonable accommodation; (2) dismiss the complaint as not relevant to the handicapped regulations; or (3) adopt plans for needed structural changes to reach compliance. The complainant, the Commission on Disabilities, and the ADA Coordinator must be notified either in writing or by other appropriate formal notification (such as audiotape) of the Council's actions.

5. The decision of the Town Council is final. All complaints received by the ADA Coordinator, Commission on Disabilities, or the Town Council as well as their responses shall be kept for a period of at least three (3) years.