Over the last few years, service animals have been a hot topic. From allowing them into grocery stores to permitting them to fly on an airplane. But where do service animals stand in the workplace?
Every year on June 26th, Americans celebrate taking your dog to work day, but what about every other day of the year?
The Americans with Disabilities Acts defines a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for those with a disability, such as a physical sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.
It is important for service animals to be licensed and to always provide the proper documentation establishing the need for a service animal. Penalties and violations for a first-time offense can be up to $75,000 for those with a “fake” service animal.
Service Animals in the Public
There are of course concerns about service animals in the workplace when it comes to other employees, such as those who may suffer from allergies.
However, there is a way to accommodate everyone:
- Allow employees to work in other areas
- Establish different travel paths for employees
- Use portable air purifiers
- Allow employees to work from home
- Offer a flexible schedule to employees
- Deep clean work areas
Keep in mind that at the end of the day, it is the right of the employee to bring their service animal to work.
Before any final decisions on how to handle service animals in the workplace, make sure to speak with your human resources department and consult with an attorney.
Talking with an Attorney
Before taking any action, as an employee or an employer, it is best to talk with an experienced employment law attorney to know your rights. They will be able to walk you through everything to ensure everyone’s rights are being met. At Thunderbird Law Group, we specialize in employment law and can provide the advice you need to fully understand your rights as well as evaluate each case carefully.