Reston Service/Companion Animals and Employee Rights

Share This

A service animal can help an employee with mental or physical disabilities perform their job duties. There are many laws regarding service animals in a professional setting, but they can be vague and difficult to interpret with qualified legal counsel from the Spiggle Law Firm.

You have the right to take your companion animal to work as long as it will help you perform your work tasks. If your employer did not offer reasonable accommodations for your needs, you may be able to take legal action against them for violating your Reston service animals and employee rights.

What is a Service Animal?

Local business owners must provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities unless doing so would cause the employer to experience undue hardship. The Americans with Disabilities Act, also known as the ADA, mandates employers to allow disabled workers to bring their service animals to work.

According to the ADA, any dog that has been trained to perform specific tasks for the benefit of a person with a mental or physical disability would be considered a service animal. For example, some service animals are trained to walk a blind person across the street, while others are trained to remind a person to take their medication. An employer who refuses to allow an employee to bring their companion animal to work may be in violation of the ADA.

It is worth noting that emotional support animals (ESA) are not protected under the ADA, and business owners are not required by law to allow an employee to bring their ESA to work. A seasoned legal advocate could help you discern whether your pet qualifies under your Reston companion animals and employee rights.

Requesting Reasonable Accommodations

If a disabled worker needs reasonable accommodations to do their job, they may need to submit a request in writing. In the letter, they should describe the extent of their disability and how a service animal can help them better perform their job.

An employer will want to know what tasks the animal is capable of performing and how the employee will be able to care for it at work. It is also legal for a business owner to request proof that a service animal is well-behaved and safe to have around their other employees.

What if an Employer Denies a Request for Accommodations?

An employer cannot deny reasonable accommodations to a disabled worker without a valid reason. A person who is denied the right to bring their service animal to work may be able to file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

A business owner who denies an employee’s Reston service animals and employee rights must show that allowing their pet into the workplace would place an undue hardship on the company. In other words, they would need to prove that allowing the animal to attend work with its owner would place a financial or legal burden on the business.

Ask an Attorney about Reston Service/Companion Animals and Employee Rights

If you believe your request to bring a service animal to work was denied on unreasonable grounds, you may be able to file a formal complaint through the EEOC against your employer. A qualified lawyer from our steadfast legal team could help you determine whether your boss violated your Reston companion animals and employee rights. Reach out to our firm today to see if you have a valid claim, or use our no-cost online review tool to learn the value of your case.