168-50-2 - PROCEDURES

168-50-2. PROCEDURES

1. General

Any individual with a disability who believes he/she has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability may discuss the complaint with departmental staff and/or may file a grievance under this procedure.

It is unlawful for the State of Maine, its employees, contractors, or grantees to retaliate against anyone who files a grievance or cooperates in the investigation of a grievance.

2. Form for filing

A grievance may be made in writing or by tape recording. A grievance may be filed on the "Disability Discrimination Grievance" form attached to this policy ("Attachment 1").

The grievance shall contain the name, address and telephone number of the person filing it (the grievant) and shall state the problem or action alleged to be discriminatory and any remedy or relief sought by the grievant.

3. Process

Grievances shall be processed in the following manner:

A. Step A - Discussion of complaint with department

Any individual with a disability (and/or representative of this person) may file a complaint with the departmental staff or the department head (or the department head's designee) where the problem occurs, within 90 days of the alleged discriminatory action. The complaint at Step A may be verbal, written, or recorded.

Whenever possible, the staff will attempt to resolve complaints informally by discussing the matter with the individual and other relevant persons. The staff may consult with or may refer the complaint to the department's Accessibility Coordinator or the State Accessibility Coordinator.

If the issue is not resolved within ten (10) working days from the date filed, the grievant may elect to move the grievance to Step B.

B. Step B - Filing of grievance

Any individual with a disability (and/or representative of this person) may file a formal grievance with the department's Accessibility Coordinator or the State Accessibility Coordinator within 90 days of the alleged discriminatory action, or within 30 days of the departmental response or the completion of Step A, whichever is latest.

Any such grievance shall be in writing or tape recording identifying the specific complaint, together with the desired resolution, as well as the grievant's name and contact information.

C. Step C - Investigation and decision

The State Accessibility Coordinator shall respond to any grievance that concerns Statewide matters. The State Accessibility Coordinator may assign responsibility to one or more departments for responding to the grievance or portion of a grievance.

The responsible Accessibility Coordinator (or his/her designee) shall conduct an investigation, if an investigation is warranted, of the grievance to determine its validity. The Accessibility Coordinator who is conducting the investigation shall prepare a draft written determination about the grievance and submit it to the responsible department head. The Accessibility Coordinator, after consultation with the department head or his/her designee, shall issue a written decision to the grievant within a reasonable time period.

The responsible Accessibility Coordinator's written decision shall be the State's final decision on the grievance.

4. Other remedies

The availability and use of this grievance procedure does not preclude a person with a disability from filing a complaint of discrimination with the Maine Human Rights Commission, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, or with any other appropriate court or government agency.

5. Accommodations

The State of Maine will make appropriate accommodations and modifications to ensure that individuals with disabilities can participate in or make use of these grievance procedures. Individuals who need auxiliary aids or services, or other reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices are invited to contact the agency Accessibility Coordinator or State Accessibility Coordinator.

6. Address and phone

The State Accessibility Coordinator may be reached at 150 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0150 or at (207) 623-7950 (voice), (888) 577-6690 (TTY), or (207) 287-5292 (fax).

(See the first section of this Chapter for historical and other information)

The following state regulations pages link to this page.