Service Animals in the Workplace

In compliance with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), individuals with disabilities shall be permitted to be accompanied by their service animals in all unrestricted areas of ’s facilities, and may attend any class, meeting or other event. Exceptions may apply in certain areas.

Employees who have a disability and are requesting accommodation for a service animal must contact the human resources (HR) department and complete the proper documentation. All service animals must be registered with the HR department.

For purposes of this policy, “service animal” has been defined by the ADA as “dogs that are individually trained to work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.” Absent prior authorization, prohibits individuals from bringing onto the premises a pet that does not meet the ADA’s definition of service animal. However, may consider requests from employees for animals that do not meet this definition.

All service animals must be licensed in compliance with local laws. Service animals must also be vaccinated against rabies and other diseases typically found in that animal and must wear a tag displaying its vaccinated status. Service animals must be harnessed, leashed or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents them from using these devices, in which case the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal or other effective controls.

The service animal’s handler must be in complete control of the service animal at all times. The care and supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of its handler. An individual who brings a service animal onto ’s premises is completely and solely liable for any injuries or damage to personal property caused by the animal. Any repair or cleaning costs incurred by a service animal will be charged to the handler.

also expects all service animals and their respective handlers to exhibit reasonable behavior while on ’s grounds. The service animal must be properly maintained so as to avoid disruption of others in the workplace. In addition to the aforementioned requirements, a service animal may be removed from ’s premises for one of the following reasons:

  • The service animal acts out of control or behaves poorly so as to cause a disruption, and the handler fails or is unable to take effective action to control the service animal.
  • The service animal is not housebroken.

If the service animal consistently behaves improperly, the handler may be directed not to bring the service animal onto ’s premises until the handler corrects the service animal’s behavior. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed from the premises, staff must offer the disabled individual the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the service animal’s presence.

What if a co-worker has an allergy or phobia?

A worker’s request for a service animal cannot be denied because another worker is allergic to the animal or has a phobia, so engaging in the interactive process to attempt to accommodate their disability, familiarizing oneself with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and checking on state laws regarding service animals are safe next steps for employers.  Learn more:


No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.