ADA COMPLAINT RESOLUTION PROCEDURE FOR THE STATE OF TENNESSEE
The Tennessee Department of Transportation has adopted an internal complaint resolution procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by the U.S. Department of Justice regulations implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Title II states, in part, that “no otherwise qualified disabled individual shall, solely by reason of such disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in programs or activities sponsored by a public entity.”
Complaints should be addressed to:
Margaret Z. Mahler
Office of ADA and Employee Safety
505 Deaderick Street
Suite 700, James K. Polk Building
Nashville, TN 37243-0332
Ms. Margaret Mahler has been designated to coordinate ADA compliance efforts.
1. A complaint should be filed in writing, or if writing is not possible, by verbal, or some other means of communication. Such complaint shall contain the name and address of the person filing it, and briefly describe the alleged violation of the regulation.
2. A complaint must be filed within thirty (30) calendar days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violations. (Processing of allegations of discrimination that occurred before this complaint resolution procedure was in place will be considered on a case-by-case basis.) A copy of the complaint shall be sent to the State ADA Office of the Department of Personnel, within five (5) business days of its receipt by the agency ADA Coordinator.
3. An investigation, as may be appropriate, shall follow a filing of complaint. The investigation shall be coordinated by Margaret Z. Mahler. These procedures contemplate informal but thorough investigations, affording all interested persons and their representatives, if any, an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to a complaint. A written report of investigation shall be compiled, and a copy of the report forwarded to the State ADA Office.
4. A written determination as to the validity of the complaint and a description of the resolution, if any, along with a description of the reasons for the resolution, or failure to achieve a resolution, shall be issued by Ms. Mahler. Copies of the written determination shall be forwarded to the complainant, and to the State ADA Office, no later than forty-five (45) calendar days after its filing.
5. The agency ADA Coordinator shall inform the complainant of the right to request a reconsideration of the complaint, as described in paragraph 6 below. Such notice shall be included in the written determination, and shall be printed in bold type, or underlined, and prominently displayed, such that it shall be easily noticed by the complainant or any person reading the determination. Accommodations for persons with sight disabilities or visual impairments shall be made in issuing the written determination and notice of right for reconsideration.
6. The complainant 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 in writing or, if writing is not possible, by verbal or some other means of communication, within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the resolution to the State Department of Personnel, Statewide ADA Coordinator. The Statewide ADA Coordinator shall consider the request for reconsideration, and shall render a decision by no later than thirty (30) days after receipt of the request of reconsideration by the State ADA Office. In reviewing the request, the Statewide ADA Coordinator shall review the record of the investigation and resolution by the agency ADA Coordinator, and any additional information submitted by the complainant or the agency.
7. The agency ADA Coordinator shall maintain the files and records of the Tennessee Department of Transportation relating to the complaints, determinations, and reconsiderations filed. Such files and records shall be maintained for one (1) year from the date that a resolution is entered by the agency ADA Coordinator, as required by Federal Regulation 29 C.F.R. Part 1602.14.
8. Copies of the record of the complaint, investigation, resolution, any reconsideration request, and the final determination upon reconsideration of the complaint by the Statewide ADA Coordinator, shall be filed and maintained by the State ADA Office for one (1) year from the date of entry of the final reconsideration determination, as required by Federal Regulation 29 C.F.R. Part 1602.14.
9. The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint filed hereunder shall not be impaired by the person’s pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of an ADA complaint with the responsible federal department or agency. Use of this grievance procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.
These rules shall be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons to meet appropriate due process standards and to assure that the Tennessee Department of Transportation complies with the ADA and implementing regulations.