Arlington Service/Companion Animals and Employee Rights
Professionals with mental and physical disabilities often need the help of service or companion animals to perform their jobs and complete work-related tasks. Service animals can make the lives of disabled workers much easier, and there are numerous laws regarding companion pets in the workplace. In most cases, a disabled employee has the right to take their service animal to work, as long as their employer can make reasonable accommodations and the companion pet can help them perform their job duties.
If an employer refuses to allow a service animal in the workplace for an invalid reason, it may be possible to hold them accountable in court with the advice and guidance of our legal team. Consider speaking with a well-versed lawyer from the Spiggle Law Firm to learn more about Arlington service/companion animals and employee rights.
ADA Rules and Regulations
The Americans With Disabilities Act, also known as the ADA, requires business owners to allow service animals in the workplace. Employers are legally obligated to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, so long as doing so does not create an undue hardship for the company.
The ADA defines a service animal as any dog that is trained to perform various tasks for a person with a physical or mental disability. For example, some companion animals are trained to help a blind person navigate their surroundings while others are trained to remind a person when it is time to take their medication. The ADA does not require employers to allow emotional support animals into the workplace, which are pets trained to provide emotional and psychological aid to their owners.
Requesting Reasonable Accommodations
If a disabled worker needs reasonable accommodations to perform their job duties, they may need to put their request in writing. In a letter, the employee should describe their disability and how a service animal could help them complete their work-related tasks.
An employer may want to know what tasks the animal can perform and whether the employee will be able to properly care for and supervise their pet at work. A business owner can also request proof that the service animal is well-trained and safe to have around other workers. One of our well-practiced Arlington attorneys could help you advocate for your companion animal and employment rights in a letter to your boss.
Receiving a Denial
An employer may deny a disabled worker’s request to bring a service animal into the workplace as long as they have a valid reason for doing so. Otherwise, they could be held liable by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for discriminating against an employee on the basis of their disability.
A business owner who denies a request for reasonable accommodations must prove that allowing the animal into the work environment would place an undue hardship on the company. They may also need to establish that it is unfeasible or impossible to make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s companion animal.
Contact an Attorney to Discuss Arlington Service/Companion Animals and Employee Rights
If you were discriminated against because you need a service animal to help you perform your job, you may be able to report your employer to the EEOC and file a civil lawsuit against them. Your employer is required by several federal laws to make reasonable accommodations for you if you need the help of a service animal. Call an attorney from our firm today to improve your understanding of Arlington service/companion animals and employee rights.