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Service Animals and the Workplace

 On June 30, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued arts-and-crafts retailer Hobby Lobby for refusing to reasonably accommodate and then firing an employee with multiple mental health conditions who requested the use of a service dog.

On Oct. 3, 2020, a part-time clerk at a Hobby Lobby store in Olathe, Kan., advised her manager that she needed to bring her fully trained service dog to work to alleviate her symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, according to the lawsuit.

After submitting a letter from her mental health provider, the worker met with Hobby Lobby's HR representative to discuss her request. But the company concluded that the dog would present a safety concern because a colleague or customer might be allergic to the dog or trip over it, or the animal might break something.

Read the rest of the article:
When Should Service Dogs Come to Work?
SHRM | Jul 2022

Set Ground Rules for the Different Types of Service Animals
Hounded by Service-Animal Dilemmas? Treat Them Like Other Accommodation Requests
SHRM | 2017 - 2018

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The resources below are organized under the following headings:

Example Policies
Service Animals and Allergies


Accommodation and Compliance Series: Service Animals in the Workplace
Job Accommodation Network

How to Handle an Employee's Request for Accommodation
SHRM How-to-Guide

Supporting People with Service Animals: A Guide to Etiquette
Good Therapy

State Laws: Fraudulent Service Dogs
Michigan State University

Example Policies

ADA Reasonable Accommodation Policy: Service Animals

Policy on Service Animals
Office of the Maine Attorney General

Service Animal Policy
University of Washington

Service Animals
Portland Community College


Must employers allow service animals in the workplace?

Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA

Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals: Where are they allowed and under what conditions?
ADA National Network

Articles (and a Podcast)

Emotional Support Animals as Workplace Accommodations
Maynard Nexsen | Mar 2023

"Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It's Back to Work We Go – But Can My Dog Go Too?"
Baker Donelson | Apr 2022

When Animals Are More Than a Pet: Differences in Rights and Responsibilities for Service and Emotional Support Animals
Lasher | Jun 2022

Service Animals 101: Keep Your Business Out of the Legal Doghouse
Holland & Hart | Mar 2022

Service Animals in the Workplace
Social Security Administration | Mar 2020

Woof Woof: Accommodating Service Animals in the Workplace
Pepper Hamilton | May 2019

Can Your Employee Bring Her Dogs to Work?
Brody | Apr 2019

Podcast (8 minutes): Can My Employees Bring Animals To Work?
Proskauer | Feb 2019

Service Animals, Assistance Animals, Comfort Animals—And The Occasional Miniature Horse
Fisher Phillips | Jan 2019

I Need My Squirrel at My Desk: A Reminder about Service Animals vs. Emotional Support Animals
Bradley | Nov 2018

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Service Animals & Allergies

Service Animals and Allergies in the Workplace
Wood Lamping | Feb 2019

Service Dogs vs. Allergies And Asthma: Finding A Middle-Ground For Access | Jul 2020

Service Animals and Allergies in the Workplace
Job Accommodation Network

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