The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 - Title I
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits state and local governments with 15 or more employees from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.
In accordance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) will not and does not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in ODOT services, programs, activities, or employment practices. ODOT will provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities, upon request. To request an accommodation, please call the ADA/504/508 Coordinator at 405-521-4140 or Oklahoma Relay at 1-800-722-0353, no later than 72 hours before any scheduled event.
In the event an individual believes that the Department has failed to comply with ADA by not providing equivalent access to a Department service, program, or activity, that individual or group of individuals may file a complaint with the Department. The process for filing an ADA Title I Complaint will be as follows:
- A written complaint should be filed within 180 calendar days of the alleged occurrence using the Department’s ADA Complaint form (Form T1-01). Copies of this form may be printed from the Department’s website or a copy may be obtained and submitted by contacting the ADA/504/508 Coordinator. Employees may also utilize the internal agency grievance procedure within 20 calendar days of the alleged occurrence. *The use of these procedures does not prohibit an employee from filing a complaint or appeal with the EEOC and/or the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission.
- The complaint will be reviewed within 10 calendars days of receipt to determine whether it contains all the necessary information required for acceptance. If the complaint is complete and no additional information is needed, the complainant will be sent a letter of acceptance along with the Complainant Consent/Release form and the Notice About Investigatory Uses of Personal Information form. If the complaint is incomplete, the complainant will be contacted in writing, by telephone or by email to obtain the additional information. The complainant will be give 15 calendar days to respond to the request for additional information.
- Within 90 calendar days of the receipt of the signed Complaint Form, the Department will investigate the complaint. An extension of up to 90 calendar days may be granted if both parties agree to such in a written form.
- The Department will then provide a written decision to the complainant, which includes a finding of "Cause" or "No Cause" to believe any discrimination has occurred, as well as any actions discussed with the complainant.
Title I Reasonable Accommodations
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment.
Reasonable Accommodations are any changes in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. There are three categories of reasonable accommodations:
- modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position such qualified applicant desires; or
- modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of that position; or
- modifications or adjustments that enable a covered entity's employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees without disabilities
Reasonable Accommodations Request Process
In the event that a qualified individual with disability would like to request a reasonable accommodation, the request process is as follows:
- Anyone seeking a reasonable accommodation must submit a verbal request and/or a written request using the Department’s Reasonable Accommodation Form (Form RA-01 Part A). Copies of this form may be printed from the Department’s website or a copy may be obtained by contacting the ADA/504/508 Coordinator.
- The completed form will then be submitted to his or her immediate supervisor. The form must also include any available documentation supporting the stated need based upon a disability. This request form starts the documentation process and the Supervisor will create a file and will document the Reasonable Accommodation process. When the request requires higher administrative approval or the Division feels the request would be better suited with the Civil Rights Division, the immediate supervisor will review the request and forward it with a written recommendation to the Division Manager within two (2) business days of receiving the request. The Division Manager will then refer the request to the ADA/504/508 Coordinator in writing. Therefore, the Coordinator will continue with the accommodation process.
- The Supervisor or Division Manager will contact the applicant or employee within 10 business days after the request is made to begin discussing the accommodation request. The Supervisor or Manager must then ask for documentation describing the impairment; the nature, severity, and duration of the impairment; the activity or activities that the impairment limits; and the extent to which the impairment limits the employee's ability to perform the activity or activities. This documentation must be obtained from an appropriate health care or rehabilitation professional. The appropriate professional in any particular situation will depend on the disability and the type of functional limitation it imposes. Appropriate professionals include, but are not limited to, doctors (including psychiatrists), psychologists, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, vocational rehabilitation specialists, and licensed mental health professionals. The individual can be asked to sign a limited release allowing the employer to submit a list of specific questions to the health care or rehabilitation professional. The requested documentation must be submitted for the request within 30 calendar days of the date the request was filed. In the event the documentation has not been submitted within the allotted time frame, the Supervisor or Manager must provide a written statement to the ADA/504/508 Coordinator providing all case information. Upon receipt of this information, the ADA/504/508 Coordinator will then provide a written notice of failure to provide sufficient documentation to the requestor and to conclude the request process. Medical Records must not be obtained. These records contain information unrelated to the disability at issue and the need for accommodation. Such information may not be necessary if there is a previous record of the disability and/or the disability is obvious. The Supervisor or Manager may simply discuss the nature of the disability and functional limitations with the individual. Also, inform the requestor that this information is needed to verify the disability and to help provide the most effective reasonable accommodation.
- After documentation has been obtained, the supervisor or manager will decide upon the request utilizing the interactive process. This process includes:
- analysis of the particular job to determine its purpose and essential functions,
- a consultation with the employee to ascertain the precise job-related limitations imposed by the individual’s disability and how those limitation could be overcome with a reasonable accommodation,
- an identification of potential accommodations and, in conjunction with the employee, an assessment of the effectiveness of those accommodations in enabling the employee to perform the essential functions of the job,
- consideration of the preference of the employee and selection and implementation of the accommodation that is appropriate for the employee and the employer and the
- overall needs of the office.
Communication is a priority throughout the entire process, but particularly where the specific limitation, problem, or barrier is unclear; or where the parties are considering different forms of reasonable accommodation. Both the individual making the request and the decision maker should work together to identify effective accommodations. The accommodation need not be the most expensive, nor must it be exactly what the employee requests, but it must be effective.
- Once information about the case has been obtained, the Supervisor or Division Manager will then determine if the requested accommodation will cause an undue hardship on the agency as a whole, which may include financial difficulty, disruptive or those that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the agency. Undue hardship issues will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. In the event that any accommodation would cause an undue hardship, the Division Manager must submit a written statement to the Department ADA/504/508 Coordinator, providing all case information and a written statement of the reasons for reaching this conclusion. In turn, the ADA/504/508 Coordinator will review the case and consider all resources available to determine if the claim that has been submitted, is valid. Please note, the Department IT Steering Committee may assist in the accommodation process, if necessary. If the ADA/504/508 Coordinator feels the claim is valid, a written statement of concurrence will be drafted along with all case documentation, to the head of the Department for his/her final decision. Once this decision has been made, the ADA/504/508 Coordinator will then step in and work with the requestor to identify an effective reasonable accommodation. If the ADA/504/508 Coordinator feels the claim is invalid, a written statement will be drafted and sent to the Division Manager informing them of the invalid claim. Once, this decision has been made, the ADA/504/508 Coordinator will then step in and work with the requestor to identify an effective reasonable accommodation.
- When a third party (e.g., an individual’s doctor) requests accommodation on behalf of an applicant or employee, the Supervisor and/or Manager should, if possible, confirm with the applicant or employee that he wants a reasonable accommodation before proceeding. Where this is not possible, for example, because the employee has been hospitalized in an acute condition, the Supervisor or Manager will process the third party’s request if it seems appropriate and will consult directly with the individual needing the accommodation 30 days after the doctor has released the individual.
- The Supervisor or Manager may need to consult with other personnel (e.g., an employee’s supervisor, Information Technology staff) or outside sources to obtain information necessary to make a determination about the request.
- The petitioner will be notified on the decision regarding the request within 30 days of receipt of the request and no further action will be required by the petitioner. The request will be implemented by the appropriate Department. All Reasonable Accommodation must be put in place within 90 days of the final decision. All Reasonable Accommodations that are put in place will be re-evaluated after a 30 day trial period.