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Q&A – Service Animals

Thursday, February 14, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rachel Moore
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Question

We have an employee who would like to bring a service dog to work with her.  Do we have to allow this?

 

Answer

 Well, the question of whether you "have to" depends.  Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, which applies to companies with 15 or more employees, an employer should attempt to provide a "reasonable accommodation" to a person with a qualified disability.  The act defines what types of conditions would qualify as a disability.  If the individual is eyesight impaired and allowing her to bring a dog to work does not create an "undue hardship" to your company, then yes, providing that accommodation would be reasonable.  It's a slippery slope from there.  What types of animals are service animals?  What level of mental health ailment would qualify someone as having a disability?  Our best advice is to get some validation from a medical provider for the need for the accommodation and the benefit it would provide and allow the accommodation as you deem appropriate. 


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