Effective: January 1, 2018
Sidewalk Accessibility Grievance Policy and Procedure
Members of the Settlement Class may submit grievances or complaints regarding access to the City’s pedestrian rights of way for persons with Mobility Disabilities. Members of the Settlement Class who wish to submit an Access Request may do so by visiting MyLA311 Access Request.
Settlement Class means the class of all persons (including, without limitation, residents of and visitors to the City) with any Mobility Disability. Mobility Disability or Mobility Disabilities means any impairment or medical condition that limits a person's ability to walk, ambulate, maneuver around objects, or to ascend or descend steps or slopes. A person with a Mobility Disability may or may not use a wheelchair, scooter, electric personal assisted mobility device, crutches, walker, cane, brace, orthopedic device, or similar equipment or device to assist her or his navigation along sidewalks, or may be semi-ambulatory.
Oversight of access compliance activities is the responsibility of the Department on Disability's (DOD) Disability Access and Services Division (DASD). All grievances and complaints concerning the City's efforts regarding sidewalk accessibility should be submitted to DOD.
If a Member of the Settlement Class has a complaint about whether the City is properly implementing the Settlement Agreement, Section 22 of the Settlement Agreement provides that Members of the Settlement Class should notify Class Counsel regarding such complaints by contacting one of the following:
Guy B. Wallace
Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns LLP
2000 Powell Street, Suite 1400, Emeryville, CA 94608
Phone: (415) 421-7100
Fax: (415) 421-7105
Linda M. Dardarian
Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho
300 Lakeside Drive, Suite 1000, Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 763-9800
Fax: (510) 835-1417
PROCEDURE RELATED TO SIDEWALK ACCESSIBILITY GRIEVANCE
Step 1. - Complaint
The grievance or complaint should be documented on the Sidewalk Accessibility Grievance Form and should contain as much information as possible concerning the grievance or complaint. This form must be completed by the grievant or his/her authorized representative. The Sidewalk Accessibility Grievance Form can either be submitted online, mailed, faxed, or emailed to the address below. The grievance should be submitted as soon as possible, but no later than sixty (60) calendar days after the alleged incident. Constituents who choose not to use the Form, but contact DOD and state that they would like to file a Sidewalk Accessibility grievance or complaint, shall have their relevant information documented by DOD staff. Any information provided may be subject to public disclosure as part of the Willits v. City of Los Angeles Settlement Agreement.
Constituents who contact DOD and raise concerns regarding Sidewalk Accessibility will, among other options for resolution, be notified of the Sidewalk Accessibility grievance process and asked if they would like to file a grievance or complaint. If the answer is yes, then DOD staff shall document all relevant information, or direct grievant to the Sidewalk Accessibility Grievance Form and procedures. Any information documented by DOD staff in response to a constituent's grievance shall be processed in the same manner as a submitted Sidewalk Accessibility Request Grievance Form.
Step 2. - Investigation
DASD will review the completed Sidewalk Accessibility Grievance within fifteen (15) working days of receipt. If it appears that a complete investigation and determination cannot be completed within 15 working days of receipt of the complaint, a Notice of Continuing Investigation (NCI) will be mailed to the grievant within fifteen (15) working days. Staff will then discuss the issues with the grievant and the concerned department(s). If appropriate, a ADA Compliance Officer or ADA Coordinator may also arrange to meet with the grievant to discuss the matter and possible resolution. Next, if the investigation leads to a determination that resolution is required for the grievance or complaint, a proposed resolution may be offered to the grievant. An investigation may find that no action is required for the grievance or complaint..
Auxiliary Aids or Services and other reasonable accommodations will be made available upon request. If at any time (in Step 1 or Step 2) DOD staff determine that the grievance or complaint is not within DOD's jurisdiction, staff will inform grievant of that determination, and provide appropriate referrals as available for the effective resolution of the complaint.
Step 3. - Notice of Outcome
Within ninety (90) days of the date on which the NCI is sent, or at the conclusion of the formal resolution process (whichever comes first), DOD will send the grievant and the concerned department(s) a notice of outcome along with a description of the appeals process, should the grievant wish to appeal, in a format accessible to the grievant.
Step 4. - Appeal of Outcome
If the City's response does not satisfactorily resolve the matter, the grievant and/or authorized representative may appeal the notice of outcome from DOD within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notice of outcome.
Within thirty (30) days of receipt of the grievant's appeal, the Sidewalk Accessibility Grievance Appeals Committee (SAGAC) will convene a meeting to discuss the matter and its response to the appeal. The Grievant will be properly notified and will have the right to be present and speak at the SAGAC Meeting. The Committee will consist of the DOD's Executive Director, a member of the City Commission on Disability, and a representative from the Bureau of Engineering, or assigned designees. Within thirty (30) calendar days after this meeting, the Chairperson of the Committee will respond in writing and, where appropriate, in a format accessible to the grievant. If the grievant is dissatisfied with the response of the Sidewalk Accessibility Grievance Appeals Committee, he/she may contact either the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), or seek private counsel.
Individuals who exercise their rights to file a grievance or complaint, or assist others in exercising their rights, are protected from retaliation. Any form of retaliation or coercion, including threats, intimidation, or interference, is prohibited if it interferes with the exercise of rights under the ADA.
The DOD will maintain all grievances received by DOD, appeals to the Sidewalk Accessibility Grievance Appeals Committee, and responses from DOD and the Sidewalk Accessibility Grievance Appeals Committee for a period of three (3) years.
This Grievance Procedure will be posted as a link on Safe Sidewalks L.A. Upon request, it will be made available in alternative formats by contacting the Department on Disability, Disability Access and Services, 201 N. Figueroa Street, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Telephone: (213) 202-2764 (Voice) or (213) 202-3452 TTY.