We all are familiar with individuals who have sight impairments and use a service dog to navigate public spaces or assist an employee in the workplace. The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) contains specific provisions entitling an individual with a disability to bring a service animal into businesses open to the public in most situations.
However, the employment provisions of the ADA “do not limit the types of animals that an employee may need in the workplace as a reasonable accommodation,” according to DiMuroGinsberg partner, Jonathan R. Mook, in an article in SHRM Online. If a disabled employee has a snake, bird or, even, a pig as a comfort animal, an employer may need to assess the employee’s request to bring the animal to work and decide whether the request would create an undue hardship on the employer’s operations. The article discussing the assessment process, entitled “Set Ground Rules for the Different Types of Service Animals,” may be found at here.
If you are interested in obtaining additional information about an employer’s obligation to reasonably accommodate disabled employees, you may contact Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org.