3.035 - Reasonable Accommodation (ADA)

Effective Date: 2/22/2002


No qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability alone, be excluded from participation or be denied the benefits of services, programs, activities, or employment. The Department, subject to reasonable fiscal limitations, shall provide reasonable accommodations to the public, on request, for physical access, communications, or other needs in order to allow participation of people with disabilities in services, programs, and activities.

Since the Department is an emergency service organization dedicated to protecting life and property and preserving public order, employees must respond to large scale emergencies, disorders, and major public events. Sworn employees, regardless of their current assignment, must be able to perform full law enforcement duties.

The Department recognizes the requirement prescribed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to make reasonable accommodations for the known or perceived physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified employees with disabilities.

I. Definitions

A. The term “disability” as determined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, means, with respect to an individual:

1. A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual,

2. A record of such an impairment, or

3. Being regarded as having such an impairment.

II. Accommodation

A. There are four categories of reasonable accommodation:

1. Accommodations required to enable prospective employees and candidates to compete for a position, and provide equal opportunity in the application process,

2. Accommodations that enable the Department’s employees with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position held or desired,

3. Accommodations that enable the Department’s employees with disabilities to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by employees without disabilities, and

4. Accommodations made that enable people with disabilities to participate in or receive the benefits of services, programs, and activities that the Department provides.

III. Responsibilities

A. The Field Support Bureau shall coordinate reasonable accommodation requests by employees who have incurred disabilities in compliance with the American Disabilities Act.

IV. Accommodation Request Procedures

A. A request for a reasonable accommodation will be made in writing by the affected employee, addressed directly to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Representative in the Field Support Bureau. The written request shall include:

1. Identification and a brief history of the employee’s disability,

2. A description of the accommodation(s) that the employee is seeking, and

a. Examples of reasonable accommodation may be provided by the Field Support Bureau.

3. All relevant documentation, including any attending physician’s report describing the disability and the accommodation(s) required.

B. Upon receiving a request for a reasonable accommodation, the ADA Representative shall review the request and all attached documentation. After reviewing the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the request shall be forwarded with a recommendation to the Director of Human Resources.

C. The Director of Human Resources, after consultation with the concerned Bureau Chief and Department Legal Advisor, shall make a determination on all requests for reasonable accommodation.

NOTE: Implementation of individual accommodations may be subject to negotiation with the City’s Personnel Department and the Department of Administrative Services where applicable.

D. The Field Support Bureau shall notify the affected employee of the determination, if possible within 30 calendar days of submission of the request, and shall coordinate the accommodation process.

E. Discrimination complaints shall be handled as prescribed in Seattle Police Manual Section 5.040 - EEO Complaints & Investigations.