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Service Animals Policy

Author: Barton A. Bixenstine, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

Updating Author: Brightmine Editorial Team

When to Use

A service animal may be a reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, the employment provisions of the ADA do not address service animals. There is no definition of service animal applicable to the workplace and no specific guidelines for employers to follow when an employee asks to bring a service animal to work.

As a result, a request from an employee to bring a service animal to work can be processed like any other request for reasonable accommodation. Some state and local laws related to employment accommodations may specifically cover and define service animals.

An employer should consider implementing this policy to educate employees about their rights and obligations regarding bringing a service animal to work and to show its commitment to complying with the ADA and analogous state or local laws.