Service Animals in Employment Settings – Part 2

Service Animals in Employment Settings – Part 2


The ADA covers employment settings in Title I which requires all employers with more than 15 employees to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities so that they may have equal access to opportunities in the work place. A federal agency called the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for overseeing and enforcing Title I of the ADA and investigating claims of discrimination filed by people with disabilities. The EEOC does not define “service animal” which means “service animal” in employment settings could be a dog or or any other animal – the EEOC does not specify limitations on this. Instead of only service dogs being covered by the law, emotional support animals can be considered a reasonable accommodation in employment situations under Title I. Generally, if an employee requests reasonable accommodations in the workplace, the employer has a right to request documentation of disability from a doctor. This does not mean that the disability diagnosis must be disclosed; a doctor’s simple statement confirming disability resulting functional limitations that could impact job performance, for example the ability to grasp, move, bend, etc.. A simple statement such as this from a doctor should be sufficient. The doctor could also include a statement suggesting what reasonable may be necessary to support this person in performing their job. If you have questions, please email or call. We are happy to assist.

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