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CFR Part 650

Vending Facility Program for the Blind

Title 89: Social Service
Chapter IV  Department of Rehabilitation Services
Subchapter C  Vocationally Related Programs

Part 650  Vending Facility Programs for the Blind

Title 89: Social Service
Chapter IV Department of Rehabilitation Services
Subchapter C Vocationally Related Programs

Part 650 Vending Facility Programs for the Blind

Table of Contents

650.10 Definitions
650.20 Rights and Responsibilities of DORS as a State Licensing Agency

650.30 Rights and Responsibilities of Vendors in the Program

650.40 Illinois Committee of Blind Vendors

650.50 Program Eligibility Requirements

650.60 Training

650.70 Certification of Vendors

650.80 Licensing of Vendors

650.90 Awarding of Facilities

650.100 Business Practices

650.110 Disciplinary Procedures for Vendors

650.120 Disciplinary Procedures for VR Clients in Initial Training

650.130 Grievance Procedures for Vendors

650.140 Set Aside Funds

650.150 Leaves of Absence

650.160 Vending Facilities in Rest Areas

 

Authority: Implementing The Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act (20 USC 107) and authorized by “AN ACT in relation to the operation of vending facilities on public and private property by blind persons, and to repeal certain acts herein named,” (IL. Rev Stat 1989, Ch 23, Pars 3331 et seq.)

Source: Amended August 31, 1973; Codified at 6 IL Reg 13790; Amended at 8 IL. Reg. 5285, effective April 16, 1984; Amended at 9 IL Reg 12347, effective August 5, 1985; Amended at 10 IL Reg 3058, effective February 1, 1986; Amended at 10 IL. Reg 9814, effective May 21, 1986; Amended at 13 IL Reg 7465, effective May 1, 1989; Emergency amendment at 13 IL Reg 15849, effective September 26, 1989 for a maximum of 150 days; Amended at 13 IL Reg. 18937, effective November 16, 1989

Section 650.10 – Definitions

Active Participation means involvement of the Illinois Committee of Blind Vendors (ICBV), and negotiation between the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) and ICBV in administrative matters of a major type.

Active participation does not mean concurrence on all issues, and where concurrence is not reached, DORS is given the ultimate authority to determine policies per 34 CFR 395.

Administrator means the employee of DORS responsible for the administration of the Program per the Randolph-Sheppard Act (20 USC 107) and its regulations (34 CFR 395 (1986)).

Business Counselor means the person designated by DORS to consult with and advise assigned vendors, and provide regular written reports on the individual facilities and the vendor’s performance to the vendor and DORS.

Days means working days, i.e., Monday through Friday excluding state established holidays or days on which government offices are closed by order of the Governor, unless otherwise stated.

DORS means the Illinois Department of Rehabilitation Services.

Facility means the location(s) assigned to one or more vendors by DORS from which the vendors derive income.

License means a written document issued by DORS to an individual meeting the standards in Section 650.80 authorizing the individual to operate a facility.

To maintain an “active” license, a vendor must be currently assigned a facility, have been assigned a facility at some time in the previous calendar year, or be on an approved leave.

A license will be deemed “inactive” if the vendor is suspended or is not currently assigned a facility and has not been assigned a facility in the previous calendar year.

Net Income means the profits of the assigned facility after deducting the cost of replacement persons and set aside.

Net Proceeds means the amount remaining from the sale of articles or services of facilities and any vending machine or other income accruing to vendors after deducting the cost of such sale and other expenses (excluding set aside funds).

Nominee Agency means a nonprofit agency or organization designated by DORS, through a written agreement, to act as DORS’ agent in the provision of specified services under this Part.  Return to Top

Section 650.20 – Rights and Responsibilities of DORS as State Licensing Agency

DORS, as state licensing agency, shall:

develop policies with the active participation of ICBV,
implement policies and procedures, and provide staff, funds, and any Program servicing agreement necessary to carry out its responsibilities under the Randolph-Sheppard Act, as amended (20 U.S.C. 107)

coordinate the Program with DORS’ vocational rehabilitation program;

seek out and make arrangements for the use of suitable sites (based on factors such as space, anticipated income, rent or commissions required, or competition in the vicinity) for the establishment of facilities;

provide for expenditures from available state and federal funds, and other allowable resources including set-aside funds, for the acquisition, installation and replacement of equipment and accessories, and the provision of initial stocks of merchandise and supplies for each new facility;

determine whether right, title to, and interest in a facility, including equipment and initial stock, may be vested in the vendor per 34 CFR 395.6.

DORS shall hold title to equipment and initial stock, however title may be voluntarily assumed by a vendor per 34 CFR 395.6;

ensure the conduct of the Program and the operation of each facility are in accordance with the Randolph–Sheppard Act, as amended and its regulations (34 CFR 395 (1988));

assure conformity with each facility’s written permit or agreement;

have responsibility for the selection of trainees;

award of licenses;

issuance of certifications;

assignment of vendors to facilities;

discipline of vendors;

establishment of a rate and the collection of set-aside;

utilization and disposition of Program assets.

determine that a facility should be operated by more than one vendor.

This determination shall be based upon conditions of management and operation (e.g. the facility requires cash pick up or other security at diverse hours, or the facility has employees on many shifts where supervision is needed), volume of merchandise sold (e.g. a facility which has several peak sales points daily), required extended hours or days to provide service, or stipulations of permits or contracts with the building management.

In such a multiple vendor arrangement, the division of net income shall be determined by DORS based on pertinent factors, including skills, qualifications and experience; degree of responsibility; and number of hours and days worked,

operate unassigned, abandoned, or vacant (due to leaves of absence) facilities;
provide training to vendors on any new rules and procedures of the program;

hire business counselors trained in food practices and sanitation;

develop contracts or permits with building managers for the operation of vending facilities when appropriate (e.g. a vendor’s attendance would be inappropriate when building management requests that a vendor not be present, or when building management will be assessing the vendor’s abilities to carry out the permit or contract), involve the assigned vendor(s) in renegotiations of contracts or permits;

ensure all Program equipment is maintained in good repair and attractive condition per 34 CFR 395.10;

distribute and use income from vending machines on federal property per 34 CFR 395.8;

if there is a potential breach of security in an unassigned facility, DORS shall cure that breach before the new vendor is inventoried. DORS may hold the prior vendor responsible for costs associated with said cure if the vendor does not leave the facility at the level of security as in 650.100(r)  Return to Top

Section 650.30 – Rights and Responsibilities of Vendors in the Program

Vendors have the following rights:

to grieve disciplinary actions per Section650.130;
to grieve dissatisfaction with any action arising from the operation or administration of the Program, per 89 Adm. Code 510;

to participate in the election of representatives to the Illinois Committee of Blind Vendors (ICBV);

to receive the net income from the management and operation of the facility to which vendors are assigned;

to bid on facilities for which a vendor is certified per Section 650.70; and

to review his/her personnel file and provide comments pursuant to 89 Adm. Code 505.10.

Vendors, or those on probation for licensing, are engaged in a “trade or business” as defined by the Self-Employment Contribution Act (26 U.S.C.1401-1403, 1983) and their net income from the management and operation of a facility constitutes self-employment income as defined in Internal Revenue Ruling 54-255 (Rev Rule 54-255, 1954-2 CB326 with no subsequent amendments or editions).

The vendor is responsible for:

maintaining the facility per the conditions of the facility’s contract or permit, and the federal regulations (34 CFR 395 (1988);
abiding by good business practices, specified in Section 650.100, as well as abiding by the provisions of this Part;

making all appropriate payments for local, state and federal taxes related to the sales,

operations of the facility, and its employees;

devoting full time, a minimum of 37.5 hours per week, to the affairs of the assigned facility;

carrying out assigned activities, responsibilities and relationships in accordance with this Part;

considering advice presented by the business counselor or other Program personnel employed by DORS or the nominee agency (e.g. advise concerning loss control, security, equipment maintenance and repair, and customer relations);

notifying DORS of his/her current address and telephone number within five days of a change; and

abiding by the signed “Vendor Agreement” and any provisions for purchase of initial stock and facility equipment.  Return to Top

 

Section 650.40 – Illinois Committee of Blind Vendors

ICBV members shall be elected biannually for a term of two years. Such election shall be conducted by DORS, in the manner prescribed by 34CFR 395.14, to assure that vendors operating a facility pursuant to 34 CFR 395.1 have an equal opportunity to participate in the election. No other persons shall be entitled to vote in such election.

ICBV members, as the elected representatives of the vendors, shall actively participate with DORS in major administrative decisions and policy and Program development decisions affecting the overall administration of the Program. Contacts between ICBV and DORS shall generally be through the Administrator or designated program staff.  Return to Top

Section 650.50 – Program Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for acceptance into, and to remain in the Program an individual must be:

legally blind, no better than 20/200 central visual acuity in the better eye with correction or a limitation to the field of vision in the better eye to such a degree that its widest angle subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees. A vendor must submit to a visual acuity test, at DORS’ expense, when the Administrator has information that a vendor’s vision has improved. If the vendor is no longer legally blind, the provisions in Section 650.110(g)(1)(B) will apply;
at least 21 years old.  Return to Top

Section 650.60 – Training

To meet the needs of trainees and licensed vendors, DORS will provide training or assist in developing training in four areas:

Initial Training:
Extended Training required for any VR client, per Subchapter b, seeking to enter the Program; provides a general introduction to food services and the skills necessary to operate facilities.

Retraining: additional training in the management of facilities to enable vendors to comply with the requirements for managing a facility as set forth in this Part.

Skill Enhancement Training: as required by 34 CFR 395.11 (1988), upward mobility training to allow vendors to become certified to operate different types of vending facilities.

Vendors are required to obtain a certificate of completion or a passing grade for each individual course or seminar taken, in which an examination is given, and complete the requirements of Section 650.70 to become certified.  Return to Top

Section 650.70 – Certification of Vendors

An individual may be certified in one or more of the following areas:

dry stand,
snack bar,

cafeteria, and

vending machines.

DORS will certify individuals who:

successfully complete the core module and one or more specific training modules as set out in Section 650.60, and
demonstrate potential for employment as a vendor as determined by a Screening Committee interview with the individual.

This determination shall be based upon:

the individual’s personality (e.g. the individual’s ability to get along with the public and fellow workers),
performance during on-the-job training, and

motivation (e.g. attendance, how well he/she accepts direction, willingness to alter behavior).

The Screening Committee will be composed of the Supervisor, or designee, and the trainers employed by DORS.

Certification in any area will only be valid for24 months, subject to the provisions in subsection (e) of this Section. Recertification for each additional 24-month period will only be granted if the vendor or graduate of training has:

had at least six months of work experience in the past 24 months in the specific area; or
satisfactorily completed two training programs in the specific area, offered or authorized by Program staff prior to attendance during the past 24 months. Both programs must be pertinent to the area of certification, as determined by DORS, and at least one of them must be a course offered or arranged by DORS or a college or university.

Certification for all vendors and graduates of training in the areas in which they are currently certified, will not expire for 24 months from the date of adoption of this Part. By that time, each vendor must have maintained his/her license and met the standards of subsection (d) of this Section in order to become re-certified.  Return to Top

Section 650.80 – Licensing of Vendors

There shall be two categories of licenses. Licenses permitting individuals to manage facilities will only be issued to persons who:

are certified by DORS as qualified to manage and operate a facility, and
satisfactorily complete a 6 month probationary period performing management and operation functions in a Program facility as an assigned vendor or replacement vendor.

The supervisor will use the criteria in Section 650.90(d) to determine satisfactory completion of the probationary period.

To maintain an active license, a vendor must be currently operating a facility, or have operated a facility or been on medical leave from a facility at some time during the previous calendar year. All active licenses will be reviewed by the Supervisor at the beginning of each calendar year to determine if they should be inactivated or renewed or terminated per Section 650.110(g). Notification will be made by the supervisor to the vendor in writing.

A license will be deemed to be inactive if the vendor is not currently assigned a facility, is suspended, or has not been assigned a facility in the previous calendar year. To activate an inactive license, an individual must meet the standards for completing training described in Section 650.60(c).

If results of these tests reveal areas of deficiency, the vendor must successfully complete a retraining program to address those deficiencies. If no action is taken to activate a license after 6 months from the date of notification that it has become inactive, the license shall be terminated.

Any vendor with an active license on the date of adoption of this Part will be granted an interim license for one year. At the end of that time, the vendor must meet the conditions of subsection (c) or (f) of this Section and be certified in one or more areas in order to have an active license. If a vendor does not meet these conditions, the license will be placed in inactive status, unless it has been terminated.  Return to Top

Section 650.90 – Awarding of Facilities

Any vendor with an interim or an active license or graduate of training holding appropriate certification(s) may bid on an available facility for which they are certified, pursuant to Section 650.70. DORS shall send notification of all facility openings to all vendors and also to appropriately certified graduates of training per Section 650.70(a). The bid announcement will include:

location of the available facility;
type of facility (i.e., dry stand, snack bar, vending machine facility, cafeteria, or combination);

types of certification(s) necessary based on the makeup of the facility (e.g. a dry stand with vending machines);

requirements of the vacant position based on the type of facility and the conditions contained in the permit or agreement with the management of the building in which the facility is located;

anticipated income from the facility based upon profit and loss statements for existing facilities and projections based on the profit and loss statements for the previous three to six periods for new facilities,

if available; the date by which the bid shall be received, which date shall be within 15 days following the date of notification. Receipt shall mean the bid is received in the office of the Program Administrator by 12 noon of the date designated in the bid;

a statement indicating that the vendor may submit a self analysis of his/her performance;

the estimated value of inventory of merchandise, and

the Program’s Bid Application (IL488-2048)

Every licensed and appropriately certified vendor and appropriately certified graduate of training who has bid for an open facility must be interviewed and evaluated by the Selection Committee. The Selection Committee shall consist of:

the Supervisor or Supervisor of Support Services, who shall chair the Committee;
a DORS vocational rehabilitation counselor for the blind;

two vendors agreed upon by the ICBV Chair and by the Chair of the Selection Committee (in multi-vendor facilities, one of these shall be the lead vendor unless that is the position being bid). In the event an agreement cannot be reached by DORS and the ICBV Chair each shall select a vendor.

Within fifteen days after bids have been received by DORS, the Selection Committee shall meet and complete its part of selection process. The Chair shall provide an agenda to the Selection Committee, set the location for the interview, and assure all relevant information and forms are available, which include:

a complete signed “Bid Application Form” for each appropriately certified applicant bidding on the facility;
when applicable, the most recent Annual Evaluation (IL488-2047) of each applicant prepared by the Business Counselor.:

if available, a written analysis of the criteria in subsection (d) of this Section, based on the applicant’s previous 13 periods, shall be included with the annual evaluation.

Profit and Loss statements from the preceding 13 periods for each vendor bidding, or whatever portion is available;

if the applicant submits one, a written self-analysis of performance during the prior 13 periods;

the bid announcement for the facility;

Rating Forms (IL488-2049) for the Selection Committee members; and

a copy of proposed Selection Committee questions developed by Program staff.

The Selection Committee shall review the procedures for Selection Committee, interview and score each applicant and submit all completed Committee Member Rating Forms to the Chair of the Selection Committee. The discussions held during a Selection Committee meeting shall be confidential, per 89 Adm. Code505, and filed in a separate file. However, the Selection Committee’s numerical ratings, without names or other identifying information shall be made available to the applicants upon request, if there are more than two applicants.

An individual’s rating shall be made known to the individual upon request. The Selection Committee shall assess the following criteria as applicable to the facility. The criteria are not listed in priority order.

Customer Relations: the ability to relate to and communicate with customers in a positive manner;
Business Practices: use of good business practices set forth

Reliability: the extent to which the applicant carries out his/her facility responsibilities, in compliance with this Part;

Discipline: oral and written reprimands within the previous 13 periods and suspensions imposed within the previous three years from the date the bid is due. Information from proposed disciplinary actions and grievances of them shall also be made available;

Mechanical Aptitude: the ability to operate and maintain the equipment at the current facility as well as equipment at the facility to be awarded;

Handling Equipment Problems: the ability to determine and correct equipment failures in a timely manner;

Work Experience: the previous work experience in the Program, including the kinds of facilities at which the applicant has worked, and previous work experience outside the Program;

Employee Management Skills: the ability to supervise employees and other leadership abilities;

Organizational Skills: the ability to plan, implement, and complete facility functions;

Physical Stamina: the ability to meet the physical demands of the facility;

Orientation and Mobility Skills: the ability to move about and function safely in and around the facility;

Employee Replacement: the ability to locate and utilize temporary employees when necessary;

Operational Skills: whether or not operational `standards (e.g. gross profit percentage, labor cost, menu preparation, customer services) were met in previous facilities; and

Financial Management: sound fiscal management of facility assets (e.g. handling cash receipts correctly, preparing necessary financial reports, maintaining security of program assets).

The facility shall be awarded to the applicant who is most qualified for that specific facility with the highest rating above 60% based upon the selection process as described in Subsection (c)(2) of this Section. If more than one applicant has received the same score from the Selection Committee, seniority shall be used to award the bid.

If the scores by the Selection Committee and seniority are equal, the licensed applicant who is not currently operating a facility will receive priority. If there is not a successful bidder (i.e., no bidder receives at least 60%), the facility will be rebid.

An applicant who is dissatisfied by the bid award may appeal the decision per 89 Ill. Adm. Code 510.

Within two days of the decision to award a facility, DORS will send the successful applicant a written offer of the facility and a vendor agreement for that facility.

Within five days of receipt of the offer, the vendor must mail the signed vendor agreement (IL488-2046) and a letter of acceptance to the Supervisor.

Within ten days of receipt of the offer, the vendor must notify the Supervisor of the date of resignation from the current facility; this date shall be no later than 40 days from the date of the written offer. Failure of the vendor to provide a date of resignation shall result in the effective day of resignation being the 40th day.

If the applicant does not accept the offer within five days of the written offer, the facility shall be offered to the next highest ranking applicant with a score of 60% or higher.

Unsuccessful bidders shall be notified in writing within two days of the acceptance of the facility by the successful bidder.  Return to Top

Section 650.100 – Business Practices

Vendors and graduates of training serving their probation shall be required to follow business practices set forth in this Section. Failure to comply with these business practices shall result in disciplinary action as contained within Section 650.110 and as shown for each practice.

The vendor shall maintain complete and current facility manuals at the facility. These manuals shall include the Location Manual which shall contain, at a minimum:

inventory
price lists

job descriptions

a security program developed by DORS and the vendor

the facility permit or contract

facility policies, and the vendor agreement;

the Facility Reference Manual, which includes all written rules and regulations, procedures promulgated by DORS and the nominee agency, and

any other documents listed in this Part or required to be included by DORS.

Failure to keep current and complete manuals shall result in an oral reprimand.

All Program forms prescribed by DORS for record keeping purposes shall be accurately completed and submitted within established time lines. Each individual violation shall result in an oral reprimand.

The vendor shall adhere to all applicable state, county, and local health codes as contained in “AN ACT to prevent the preparation, manufacture, packing, storing, or distributing of food intended for sale, or sale of food, under unsanitary, unhealthful or unclean conditions or surroundings, to create a sanitary inspection, to declare that such conditions shall constitute a nuisance, and to provide for the enforcement thereof” (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987 Ch. 56 2, par. 67 et seq.) and “AN ACT to provide for the licensing and regulation food service establishments in counties of over 500,000 population and providing penalties for violation thereof” (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, Ch. 34, par. 439) and Department of Public Health Regulations 77 Ill. Adm. Code 743 (Sanitary Vending of Food and Beverages), 750 (Food Service Sanitation Code), and 760 (Retail Food Stores Sanitation Code) regarding personal hygiene. The vendor is also responsible for informing the facility employees of such requirements and assuring compliance. Clean, professional attire shall be worn in all facilities. Violation shall result in a written reprimand.

Smoking, drinking, and eating by the vendor and employees shall be allowed only during break times established by the vendor in a written policy to be included in the Location Manual, and only in areas designated by the vendor in conformance with the facility contract or permit and Department of Public Health Regulations, 77 Ill. Adm. Code 743.90 and 750.530. Violation shall result in an oral reprimand.

The sanitation of the facility must, at a minimum, meet DORS facility program standards on the Sanitation and Safety Checklist (IL 488-2050).To ensure compliance with these standards a sanitation schedule shall be established by the vendor. This schedule shall be kept in the Location Manual and complied with by the vendor and all employees.

The vendor shall inspect all merchandise checked into the facility for: quality, quantity, damage, back order, price variances, and assure storage per the Sanitation and Safety Checklist (IL488-2050). The vendor also shall coordinate all corrections in orders with purveyors to ensure proper credit and to ensure maintenance of facility profit margins. Evidence of violation shall result in an oral reprimand.

The vendor shall adhere to the facility contract or permit and any addenda (e.g., hours of operation, price constraints, menu selection). Violation shall result in a written reprimand.

The vendor shall maintain current and accurate records of product cost, complete product mixes and product price. Prices charged for products will be in accordance with the facility contract or permit. A current list of the inventory and a price list will be placed in the Location Manual. Violation shall result in an oral reprimand.

Payment for purchases of goods or services shall be made in a timely manner and carried out in accordance with accepted business practices and with purveyors’ requirements. Violation shall result in a written reprimand.

Each vendor shall be responsible for all legally mandated and commonly accepted personnel practices (e.g. Department of Labor rules (56 Code Chapter I, Subchapter b, “Regulation of Working Conditions”)) for employees of the facility. Violation will result in written reprimand.

Consumption of alcoholic beverages or use of illegal drugs at the facility by a vendor or employee or working under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not permitted. Violation shall result in immediate suspension of three facility business days. No alcohol or illegal drugs shall be allowed at a facility. Violation shall result in a written reprimand.

Facility money, product, equipment or Program assets shall not be removed from the facility by the vendor for personal use. Violation shall result in termination of license.

In facilities having cash registers, all sales and services must be recorded on the cash register at time of purchase. In all other facilities, all cash removed from each vending machine must be recorded on the facility’s Vending Cash Out Sheet. The form shall be kept by the vendor either at the facility or producible upon request the next business day. Violation shall result in a written reprimand.

A facility shall not be closed during regularly scheduled business hours except in cases of family or medical emergency or other natural emergencies (e.g., severe weather). Violation shall result in a written reprimand.

If the facility is closed because of the absence of the vendor for all or part of two consecutive business days, the vendor shall be considered to have abandoned the facility (unless there was an emergency). Violation shall result in termination of license.

Each vendor shall conduct himself/herself in a professional manner in contacts with building management, (e.g., avoiding use of profane language, racist or sexist remarks, inappropriate gestures or physical contact.) Violation shall result in an oral reprimand.

A vendor is responsible for maintaining the security of the facility, including the service area, storage areas, machines, product and cash and shall be responsible for leaving the facility at that level of security. Violation shall result in a written reprimand.

The vendor must maintain a professional attitude and demeanor toward customers and the public at all times. Violation shall result in an oral reprimand.

A vendor is responsible for the conduct of his/her employees and must ensure they are aware of and adhere to the business practices. The vendor is responsible for correcting actions of an employee and enforcing the business practices where they apply to the employee. Violation shall result in an oral reprimand.

A vendor is responsible for all appropriate payments for local, state and federal taxes related to sales and to the employees at the facility to which he/she is assigned Violation shall result in an oral reprimand.

A vendor shall devote full time, a minimum of 37.5 hours per week, to the business of the facility, carrying out assigned activities, responsibilities and relationships in accordance with this Part. Violation shall result in an oral reprimand.

A vendor shall seriously consider advice presented by the business counselors or other personnel employed by DORS or the nominee agency. Violation shall result in an oral reprimand.

A vendor must maintain all facility financial accounts in such a manner that assures no interruption of service and that all funds, including program assets and the vendor’s working capital, are balanced at the end of each fiscal reporting period for that facility. Violation shall result in a written reprimand.

A vendor shall operate the facility in a manner that shall avoid the repeated violation of a variety of the business practices listed above. Violation shall result in a written reprimand, in addition to the consequences of the other business practice violation.  Return to Top

Section 650.110 – Disciplinary Procedures for Vendors

Disciplinary actions shall include the following:

oral reprimand
written reprimand

suspension

loss of facility, and

termination of license

Any time discipline is imposed, the vendor shall be advised of the right to grieve per Section 650.130.

Oral Reprimand

An oral reprimand is a discussion in person or by telephone between the vendor and the lead vendor, in a multi-vendor facility, business counselor, Supervisor, and/or the Supervisor of Support Services. An oral reprimand must occur within five days of any Program staff member’s or lead vendor’s (in the case of a vendor facility reprimand by a lead vendor) knowledge of an incident which occurred within the last 30 days.

The oral reprimand shall identify the rule(s) or policy violated, corrective action, and the consequences of repeated violations. An oral reprimand shall be used for the first violation of the rules contained within this Part with the exception of Section 650.100(c), (g), (i), (k), (l), (m), (n), (o), (p), (r), (y).

The discussion shall be identified to the vendor as an oral reprimand, and shall advise the vendor that a rule has been violated and what corrective action is necessary. The person giving the oral reprimand shall send a written report to the Supervisor which shall include the time, date of violation, nature of the violation, corrective measures required, the date of such oral reprimand, the vendor’s comments and the vendor’s signature. A copy shall also be provided to the vendor.

The Supervisor shall, within ten days of receipt, review the written report. If the Supervisor is in agreement with the written report, he/she shall place a copy of this report in a working file on discipline; however, the vendor’s permanent personnel file shall not contain any reference to the reprimand. If the Supervisor does not agree with the oral reprimand, the report will be returned to the vendor.

The working file on discipline shall be available for the vendor’s review and shall be subject to DORS rules on confidentiality (89 Adm. Code 505). An oral reprimand in the working file on discipline shall be destroyed one year after its date, if no repeat of that violation occurs. Action resulting in an oral reprimand which is not corrected may be the basis for a written reprimand.

Written Reprimand

A written reprimand shall be issued for a second violation of a rule contained in this Part following an oral reprimand for the same business practice violation. Written reprimands are also issued for the violation of a health code or location permit or contract, or violation of business practices set forth in Section 650.100(c), (g), (i), (l), (n), (o), (r), (x),(y).Within ten days of the Supervisor’s knowledge of the violation, provided the violation has occurred within the past 60 days, the supervisor shall prepare a written reprimand.

The written reprimand shall be sent to the vendor’s mailing address by certified mail, return receipt requested, or delivered in person by Program staff with a signed receipt to be returned to DORS.

The Supervisor, or in his/her absence the Supervisor of Support Services, shall prepare a written reprimand which:

outlines the events leading to the reprimand,
explains the violation of the rules

reviews any existing prior oral reprimands for similar offenses,

states all known facts about the present violation, including the names of all known witnesses,

details the disciplinary consequences of continued offenses as set forth in this Section,

indicates the steps the vendor should take to correct the situation;

states the vendor’s right to grieve as per 650.130

A copy of the written reprimand shall be placed in the vendor’s permanent personnel file. One year from the date of reprimand, the reprimand shall be removed from the vendor’s personnel file and sent to the vendor.

Suspension
Suspension shall be imposed either when a violation is repeated within a year of the date of the written reprimand, or when an immediate suspension is warranted per subsection (e)(5) of this Section. The Administrator shall determine if suspension is warranted and, if so, the length of the suspension based on subsection (e)(3) of this Section, and the effective date.

When a vendor is suspended, the facility shall be operated by a replacement person. If the suspension is for more than six facility business days, an immediate inventory of all stock, equipment, and documents shall be taken, or directed to be taken, by DORS and recorded. If the suspension is six facility business days or less, the vendor shall be assessed the daily average amount of income before set aside for the last three periods or the cost of replacement labor, for up to 20 facility business days. If the violation is repeated within one year of the ending date of the first suspension, the second suspension shall be for up to 40 facility business days. If a vendor receives more than two suspensions for any reason during a three year period, the third and subsequent suspensions shall be for 40 facility business days each.

Notices of Suspension shall be sent to the vendor at his/her last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested or delivered in person by Program staff with a signed receipt to be returned to DORS. The Notice of Suspension shall state the effective date, the basis for the suspension, and the length of the suspension.

An immediate suspension of three facility business days shall be imposed without notice pursuant to subsection (e)(4) of this Section by the Supervisor if the vendor’s continued presence could be a direct threat to self, others, property, or the loss of the facility (e.g., fighting with customers, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, disorderly conduct, using profane language with customers) or if necessary to investigate charges of misconduct. This discipline may be grieved per Section 650.130 and if the decision favors the vendor, the vendor shall be reimbursed the costs of replacement labor.

Loss of Facility

A vendor shall lose the facility if one of the following occurs:

the vendor receives three suspensions, which have not been overturned, for any reason in a two year period,
the vendor receives two suspensions which have not been overturned for violation of the business practice in Section 650.100(q) in a two-year period

failure to return from leave per Section 650.150,

the building manager states in writing that the account with the facility shall be lost if the vendor remains at the facility, or

the vendor or graduate of training falsifies his/her Bid Application Form (IL488-2048), any material used by or submitted to the Selection Committee.

If for two consecutive periods the gross profit (i.e. the ratio of cost of goods to net sales) of the assigned facility is more than 10% below the projected average, or the average profit percentage is more than 8% below the projected average for four consecutive periods, DORS shall observe the facility’s operations to determine the cause of the failure to meet projections. If it is determined the vendor is at fault, DORS shall make written recommendations to improve the actual gross profit percentage. If after two more periods the facility is not within three percentage points of the projected goal, the vendor shall lose the facility.

The loss of a facility by a vendor shall not restrict the vendor from bidding on another facility, but he/she shall not be awarded the same facility. A license will terminate, without further notice, when:

a vendor notifies DORS in writing that he/she has withdrawn from the Program;
a vendor experiences an improvement of vision above the definition of legal blindness pursuant to Section 650.50(a);

the vendor has an illness with a medically documented diagnosis that the vendor is incapable of operating a facility;

the vendor fails to notify DORS of a change of address and the vendor has had no contact with DORS for one year;

the vendor abandons a facility with no notice to DORS, per Section 650.100(p);

the vendor uses Program assets (facility income, equipment, stock, or money) for personal use (e.g. paying personal bills, buying personal property, taking stock or equipment home);

the vendor has lost two facilities within five years in accordance with subsection (f)(1)(D) of this Section; or

the vendor is convicted of a felony.

An individual must wait two years from the effective date of license termination before applying for readmission to the Program in accordance with Sections 650.50 and 650.60. All seniority rights shall be lost at the time of the license termination and shall not be reinstated.  Return to Top

Section 650.120 – Disciplinary Procedures for VR Clients in Initial Training

Trainees who are receiving initial training and vendors receiving retraining in the classroom or at an on-the-job training site shall be disciplined as set out in this Section for violating a rule of conduct. Documentation of discipline shall be kept in the individual’s personnel file. A trainee wishing to appeal discipline may do so per 89 Adm. Code 510. A vendor wishing to appeal discipline may do so per Section 650.110.

The following actions shall begin with the discipline shown and progress as follows:

written reprimand
suspension from training for one day, and

termination from training

Leaving training during scheduled hours without permission. Oral reprimand.

Sleeping during training. Oral reprimand.

Failing to report any injury. Oral reprimand.

Failing to request a scheduled absence (e.g. scheduled doctor’s appointment, family obligation, transportation problems) 24 hours in advance from the Training Director or designee. Oral reprimand.

Failing to obey rules of the Illinois Visually Handicapped Institute as set forth in Adm. Code 730. Oral reprimand.

Failing to notify the Training staff by 7:00 a.m. of any day the trainee is unable to attend classroom training. Oral reprimand.

Failing to notify the Training staff before the scheduled starting time of the inability to attend on-the-job training. Oral reprimand.

Failing to wear the uniform provided during training. Oral reprimand.

Eating, drinking or smoking in class or outside designated areas. Oral reprimand.

Disregarding safety or sanitation practices (e.g., failing to report unsafe equipment, removing machine parts without approval). Oral reprimand.

Using training equipment, machines or training telephones without specific approval from the Training Director or designee. Oral reprimand.

Excessive absenteeism or tardiness (e.g., more than two unscheduled absences or reporting tardy more than three times). Written reprimand.

Unprofessional conduct (e.g., use of profane language, racist or sexist remarks, unwelcome sexual advances, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature). Written reprimand.

Cheating on tests. Written reprimand.

Damaging Program property through failure to exercise proper care. Oral reprimand.

The following actions will result in termination from training:

Consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages or illegal substances or working under the influence of such during training.
Inappropriate behavior which disrupts training or on-the-job training (e.g., fighting, gambling, conducting a lottery, tardiness which continues after a written reprimand).

Inflicting or attempting to inflict harm upon the person or property of another.

Misrepresenting or withholding information on the Employment Verification form (I-9) or the referral packet.

Failing or refusing to follow instructions or complete assigned objectives in a timely fashion in any area of training and on-the-job training. Possessing a dangerous weapon during training (e.g., a knife with a blade longer than two inches).

Threatening, coercing or interfering with a trainee, DORS employee, vendor or customer.

Three unexplained absences.

Cheating in the final examination.

Altering or willfully destroying Program records, files or property.

Oral and written reprimands shall be imposed per Section 650.110 by a member of the training staff. If possible, another staff member as well as the VR counselor, if available, should be present when discipline is imposed.  Return to Top

Section 650.130 – Grievance Procedures for Vendors

Dissatisfaction of a vendor with any DORS action arising from the administration of the Program shall be appealed pursuant to 89 Adm. Code 510. A vendor may grieve discipline pursuant to the following procedures for Level I (Administrative Reviews) and Level II (Evidentiary Hearings). The action of grieving a suspension, not including an immediate suspension, to Level I or Level II shall stay the imposition of the discipline until the administrative remedies within DORS have been exhausted. A Level I Hearing is optional; a vendor may choose to go directly to a Level II Hearing and follow the procedures in subsection (c)(2) of this Section.

A suspension shall be grieved by appealing directly to Level II. Level I (Administrative Review) In order to grieve an oral or written reprimand imposed per Section 650.110, DORS must receive a request for a Level I Hearing within 15 days of the date of receipt of notification that discipline is to be imposed. The vendor shall give notice in writing by certified mail to the Administrator, which notice shall state the reason for the grievance and the remedy being sought. If the grievance is timely, the Administrator or designee shall, within five days, notify the vendor by certified mail of the time and place of the Level I Hearing, to be held between 10 and 15 days of receipt of the vendor’s notice at the Springfield Administrative office of DORS.

The Administrator, or designee, and vendor shall meet and attempt to resolve the grievance to their mutual satisfaction. Within 10 days after the adjournment of the meeting the Administrator shall send the vendor a letter by certified mail stating DORS’ position and summarizing the results of the hearing. The letter must cite:

a statement of the basis upon which the decision was made;
the applicable laws, rules, regulations and the name and address of the DORS Hearings Coordinator; and

a statement that if the vendor is dissatisfied with the decision, a request for a Level II hearing which must be received by the Hearings Coordinator within 15 days from the date of receipt of the Level I hearing decision notice. The request shall be in writing, addressed to the DORS Hearings Coordinator at Springfield, Illinois 62794 and shall contain the reason for the Level II Hearing and propose four acceptable dates for the hearing, which dates shall be within 20 days of the request.

Level II – Evidentiary Hearing

If the vendor requests a review of an action where there has been no Level I Hearing, the request for a Level II Hearing must be received by the DORS Hearings Coordinator within 15 days of the date of notification that discipline is to be imposed. The request shall also propose four acceptable dates for the hearing, which dates shall be within 20 days of the request.

If the vendor has chosen to have a Level I Hearing and then requests a Level II Hearing, the Hearing Officer at the Level II Hearing shall review only those issues presented by the vendor or which are material and related to those presented in the Level I Hearing.

Within 5 days of receipt of the request, the DORS’ Hearings Coordinator shall select one of the offered dates and notify the vendor by certified mail of the date and place for the Level II Hearing stating the Hearing Officer’s name and address, and informing the grievant of all rights accorded pursuant to this Part.

DORS shall be represented by the Administrator or designee, who may be assisted by other staff including the DORS legal counsel. At least three days prior to the hearing, the vendor and the Administrator must provide each other and the Hearing Officer with a list of witnesses and copies of documents not in the possession of the other party. The following is the order of proceedings:

presentation, argument and disposition of all preliminary motions and matters;
opening statements;

evidence presented by the vendor;

evidence presented by DORS;

rebuttal by either or both sides; and

closing statements.

The vendor and DORS are entitled to present their case by oral or documentary evidence, to submit rebuttal evidence and to conduct such examination and cross examination of witnesses as may be required for a disclosure of all facts bearing on the issues.

The Hearing Officer

The Level II Hearing shall be heard by an impartial Hearing Officer appointed by the Hearing Coordinator from a list maintained by him/her. The qualifications for a hearing officer are:

impartiality,
an understanding of the applicable rules (89 Adm. Code 650),

the ability to preside over the evidentiary hearing, and

the ability to reach a recommendation based upon the facts presented at the evidentiary hearing and the applicable rules.

The Hearing Officer has the power to:

control the conduct of the hearing to prevent irrelevant or immaterial discussion;
rule upon all motions and other matters arising in the course of the hearing, including, but not limited to, admissibility of evidence; and

require the parties, in an agreed upon time frame, at any stage of any hearing or after all parties have completed the presentation of their evidence, to present further evidence including, but not limited to, the production of any and all documents, books, papers and accounts the Hearing Officer deems pertinent or relevant to any issue.

Any relevant evidence presented which is of a type commonly relied upon by reasonably prudent individuals may be admissible, i.e., any information not presented in the hearings previously which pertains to the issues raised in the grievance and has been made available to both parties within the agreed upon time. DORS will make an audiotape recording of the proceedings and will provide the vendor with one copy upon request, at no cost. Upon request by a vendor, a braille or large print transcript will be provided at no cost. The record of testimony, exhibits, and all papers and documents filed in the hearing shall constitute the exclusive record for decision.

The Decision

Within fifteen (15)days after the hearing is adjourned, the Hearing Officer shall provide a recommendation to the Director of DORS. The recommendation of the Hearing Officer shall be based upon the records of the hearing and shall set forth the principal issues and relevant facts adduced at the hearing; the applicable provisions in law and regulation; and a recommended action. It shall also contain findings of fact and conclusions with respect to each of the issues and basis therefore.

The recommendation may also set forth any remedial action necessary to resolve operational problems of the Program. The Director of DORS shall make a decision as to the disciplinary action to be taken within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the recommendations. The Director’s decision shall state the principal issues and relevant facts brought out at the hearing, pertinent provisions in law, regulation and Program procedures, the reasoning that led to the decision, and the vendor’s right to appeal to the U.S. Department of Education per 34 CFR 395.13.

A copy of the Hearing Officer’s recommendations shall be attached to the Director’s letter. The Director shall send copies of the decision by certified mail to the Hearing Officer, the vendor and his/her personal representative, and to the Administrator. If the vendor is dissatisfied with the decision rendered after a Level II Hearing, the vendor may request, within fifteen (15) days of the receipt of such decision, that an arbitration panel be convened by filing a complaint with the Secretary of the United States Department of Education, as authorized by Section 5 (a) of the Randolph-Sheppard Act, (20 U.S.C. 107 et seq.) and 34 CFR 395.13 (1988).

General Provisions for Level I and II Hearings

A vendor may only designate one personal representative at any one time. DORS and the Hearing Officer must be notified by the vendor of the appointment of a representative by filing, no later than three days in advance of a hearing, a notice of appearance stating the representative’s name, address and telephone number, identifying the vendor represented, and signed by the vendor.

Grievances by any party not directly aggrieved by the discipline cannot be heard by DORS pursuant to this Part. The vendor may request a reader, which DORS shall provide at its expense if it is necessary. Either brailled, large print or audio material, at the vendor’s request, will be used as required.

All meetings with the vendor pursuant to this Section must occur at a time and location convenient to both parties. All proceedings pursuant to this Section are to be confidential and not open to the general public unless requested to be so by the vendor. DORS will assume the administrative costs of the appeals, e.g., reader, and court reporter/transcription, but not costs personally incurred by the vendor because of the proceedings, e.g., legal fees, travel, witness costs, and room and board.

Vendor’s Rights Regarding a Grievance

After a request for a hearing is received by DORS, the vendor must be informed of the right to:

review his/her file and other related documents, with the exception of information per Section 650.90 and confidential information;
be represented by a personal representative who has filed a notice of appearance with DORS;

an explanation of the grievance process as set forth in this Section;

request a reader;

withdraw the grievance at any time during the process, in which case the vendor cannot request a reopening of the grievance;

a timely and impartial hearing;

decline to appear for Level I or II Hearing, in which case a review of the case file and any new written information or evidence submitted by the grievant shall be examined and a decision made based on that review by the Hearing Officer;

confidentiality of the proceedings as set forth in 89 Adm. Code 505.10; and

have DORS employees directly involved in the appealed action present at the hearings, and to question them. However, if such employee(s) is no longer employed by DORS and declines to attend the hearing after DORS has made a reasonable attempt to secure his/her attendance, the person most knowledgeable about the case shall attend.

DORS Rights Regarding a Grievance

DORS has the right to:

refuse to hear grievances if not timely filed;
have a DORS attorney present;

cooperation by the vendor (e.g. responding to hearing officer questions, adhering to time frames provided in this Section);

publish hearing summaries, with deletions as necessary to ensure a vendor’s confidentiality;

consolidate for hearing all issues related to a vendor or to several vendors out of the same set of facts and circumstances.

Conduct of the Hearings

A hearing shall not be adjourned until the Administrator or Hearing Officer is satisfied that all facts needed for a decision have been presented. Only evidence bearing directly on the issue under review may be introduced; only evidence which has been made available to the other party may be considered by the Administrator or Hearing Officer.

It is DORS’ responsibility to prove that a violation occurred. If the Hearing Officer determines that DORS failed to prove that a violation occurred, based on evidence and a review of applicable law and regulations, he/she may direct that the disciplinary action being grieved be removed from the vendor’s file.

All parties involved in the hearing must avoid undue delay caused by repetitive continuances so that the subject matter of the hearing may be resolved expeditiously. A hearing may for good cause shown (e.g. illness of a vendor or witness, crisis at a facility, severe weather), be continued by the Administrator or Hearing Officer. Notice of the request must be given in writing to the other party and to the Hearing Officer no less than 5 days prior to the scheduled hearing date (in the absence of an emergency).

Use of Record

Upon completion of the hearing, all records, recommendations, orders, and attached materials shall be placed in a permanent file. This file shall be confidential and only those DORS officials involved in the disciplinary process shall have access to them.

In future cases, the legal representative of a vendor may examine such files, but only after the names, addresses, and identifying characteristics of any vendors involved have been removed.

The Director of DORS reserves the right to submit the record of the Level II Hearing to the appropriate state or federal officials, together with a request that action be taken, if the record discloses that illegal conduct relating to the operation of the facility may have occurred.  Return to Top
Section 650.140 – Set-Aside Funds

The collection of set-aside funds shall be based on a schedule of assessment on net proceeds from each facility, including direct or commission income from vending machines assigned to the facility.

DORS may authorize the nominee agency to collect set-aside funds which accrue to DORS from an assessment against the net proceeds of a facility. Such charges shall be determined for use as specified in 34 CFR 395.9 (1988).  Return to Top

Section 650.150 – Leaves of Absence

Medical Leaves

Medical leaves of five facility business days or less do not require medical documentation; however, the vendor is responsible for ensuring that a trained replacement is operating at the facility.

Medical leaves of over five facility business days will only be granted if the vendor provides medical documentation to the Supervisor prior to the leave, except in emergency (e.g., personal or family illness, death of family member). The documentation shall consist of a statement from the attending physician explaining the vendor’s medical condition and verifying the need for a leave and the length, if known.

In the event of a medical emergency which precludes advance notice to the Supervisor, documentation of the illness must be provided to the Supervisor within 15 days after the emergency occurred.

Leaves may not end until a medical statement is received by the Supervisor stating that the vendor’s return to work is not medically contraindicated. Medical leaves shall be granted for no more than six months. If after six months the vendor is unable to return to the facility, an inventory of property and stock will be made and the facility reassigned per Section 650.90.

When a medical leave is granted, the vendor has the option of retaining management of the facility or temporarily transferring the management of the facility to DORS, subject to the following:

If the vendor retains management of the facility, he/she will receive the net income from the assigned facility during the leave of absence. The replacement person must be approved by the Supervisor or designee.
If the vendor chooses to temporarily transfer management of the facility, an inventory of facility property and stock shall be taken at the time that the medical leave begins, and a temporary person will be assigned to the facility by DORS. Any profits or losses accrue to or are covered from set-aside.

Should a vendor, due to a medically verifiable reason, be unable to make a decision regarding the operation of his/her facility, the Supervisor using best business judgment, will assign a temporary replacement person for the period the vendor is unavailable, not to exceed 6 months after which time the provisions of subsection (a)(3) of this Section take effect. Operation of the facility will be returned to the vendor upon a physician’s written verification that the vendor is able to make a decision regarding operation of the facility.

Personal Leaves

A vendor may take up to a total of 15 days of personal leave in any one calendar year. If a vendor takes up to four consecutive days of personal leave at one time, it does not require prior notification to the Supervisor. However, the vendor must provide a trained replacement person.

If a vendor takes more than four consecutive days of personal leave at any one time, it requires five days prior notification to the Supervisor. The vendor shall provide a trained replacement person.

A vendor may not take more than 15 days of personal leave in any one calendar year, unless the vendor obtains prior written approval of the Supervisor. The vendor shall provide a trained replacement person. Notification to a Supervisor regarding personal leave shall contain the name of the trained replacement and when possible, a telephone number and address where the vendor can be located during the leave.

The Supervisor has the right to negotiate a different starting date for the leave based on the availability of a trained replacement. During a personal leave, the vendor shall retain management of his/her location and its net income.

The replacement selected by the vendor will be reviewed by the Supervisor, or designee, based upon the replacement’s abilities to manage the facility as demonstrated by previous experience, and also meet the stipulations of the facility contract. If the Supervisor or designee has questions about the replacement person, he/she will discuss them with the vendor.

If the vendor fails to return to the facility upon completion of the leave or fails to obtain prior approval from the Supervisor for an extension, DORS will attempt to contact the vendor by telephone. If no response is received by the second business day, the provisions of Section 650.110 (f)(1) shall become effective.  Return to Top

Section 650.160 – Vending Facilities in Rest Areas

Vendors with facilities located in rest areas in accordance with 92 Ill. Adm. Code 534, shall be responsible for all utility costs associated with the business. These utility costs shall be considered a business expense of the facility.

The vendor is responsible for maintaining security within his or her own vending facility (e.g., securely locking vending machines).

The vendor is responsible for providing liability insurance protection in the following minimum amounts: public liability $500,000/1 million, property damage $50,000/100,000 and food products liability $500,000/1million.

It is the responsibility of the vendor to maintain customer complaint/refund cards in an easily accessible area for customer use. These cards shall be furnished to the vendors by DORS. These cards shall be returned to DORS by the customer at an address specified by DORS on the card.

DORS shall contact the vendors who will be responsible for refunding the money to the customer. Whenever there is more than one complaint a day regarding the quality of services or goods, the activities of the vendor or return of lost monies at rest areas is made to DORS by vending customers the vendor must make improvements in vending operations to reduce complaints to below the occurrence of one per day.  Return to Top