It is the policy of the City of Meridian that no qualified individual with a disability shall, solely on the basis of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any of its programs, services, or activities as provided by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). It is further the policy of the City of Meridian that all reasonable efforts will be made to provide nondiscrimination in all of its programs and activities regardless of the funding source.
Grievance Procedure under the Americans with Disabilities Act
This Grievance Procedure is established to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, known as ADA. It may be used by anyone who wishes to file a complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in the provision of services, activities, programs, or benefits by the City of Meridian, MS. The City of Meridian’s Personnel Policy governs all employment-related complaints of disability discrimination.
The complaint should be in writing and contain information about the alleged discrimination such as name, address, phone number of complainant, and location, date, and description of the problem. A complaint form is available under the “Resources” area below. Alternative means of filing complaints, such as personal interviews or a tape recording of the complaint, will be made available for persons with disabilities upon request.
The complaint should be submitted by the grievant and/or designee as soon as possible, but no later than 30 calendar days after the alleged violation.
Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the complaint, the City of Meridian’s ADA Coordinator will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and the possible resolutions. Within 15 calendar days of the meeting the ADA Coordinator will respond in writing and where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant. The response will explain the position of the City of Meridian and offer options for substantive resolution of the complaint.
If the response does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the grievant and/or designee may appeal the decision in writing within 15 calendar days after receipt of the response to the Mayor of the City of Meridian.
Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the appeal, the Mayor will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions. Within 15 calendar days after the meeting, the Mayor will respond in writing and where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant.
Responses from these two city offices will be retained by the City of Meridian, MS, for at least three years.
Title VI Policy
Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act provides that no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
The City of Meridian assures that no person shall on the grounds of race, color, sex, age, disability, or national origin, as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity. The City of Meridian further assures that every effort will be made to ensure nondiscrimination in all its programs and activities, regardless of the funding source.
The City of Meridian will include Title VI language in all written agreements and bid notices and will monitor compliance.
The Title VI Coordinator will be responsible for initiating and monitoring Title VI activities and all other responsibilities as needed.
If Title VI deficiencies or violations are found through program review, the City of Meridian will take the necessary steps and procedures to ensure program compliance and prevent future violations from taking place. If irregularities occur in administration of the programs’ operations, procedures will be established to resolve the deficiency and reduce to writing the remedial action necessary, all within a period not to exceed 90 days. MDOT will be notified of any complaint filed at the City of Meridian involving Title VI issues.
Filing a Complaint
The complaint procedures apply to the beneficiaries of the City of Meridian’s programs and activities, including but not limited to: the public, contractors, sub-contractors, consultants, employees, and other sub-recipients of federal and state funds.
If any individual, group of individuals, or program beneficiaries have been subjected to unequal treatment or discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age, which is prohibited by Title VI nondiscrimination provisions, in the receipt of benefits and/or services, s/he may file a complaint with the City of Meridian. Every effort will be made to resolve complaints informally at the City, recipient, and/or contractor level.
Time Limitation on Filing Complaints
All City of Meridian employees must report complaints immediately to the Title VI Coordinator upon receipt of Title VI related complaints.
Complaints must be filed no later than 180 days after:
- The date of the alleged act of discrimination; or
- The date the person became aware of the alleged discrimination; or
- Where there has been a continuing course of discriminatory conduct, the date on which the conduct was discontinued.
Complaints must be reduced to writing and must be signed by the complainant and/or the complainant’s representative. The complaint must address the facts and the circumstances leading to the claimed discrimination.
A Title VI complaint form is available here and at the City of Meridian’s City Clerk’s office during normal business hours.