Service Dogs in the Workplace — Everything You Need to Know

The number of people using service dogs is on the rise, meaning it is increasingly likely that they will be introduced to the workplace. This can mean different things for both employers and employees alike. The legal requirements surrounding service dogs can sometimes be a little unclear. But if you want to ensure your dog’s comfort and safety while you are away, you can can bring your dog to this dog boarding near me!

In this post, we will be answering some key questions you may have surrounding service dogs in the workplace. This information is informed by legal requirements and general workplace policy, but your specific workplace may be different depending on your industry. With that in mind, let’s jump in and check out this fact comes from!

What Documentation Could Employers Ask For?

Employers possess the right to request documentation relating to the disability of an individual, but the documentation of service dogs is slightly different. In some cases, a doctor or similar healthcare professional was not involved in the process of acquiring a service dog. This means that they cannot provide official documentation.

This is why many choose to register a service dog, as the provided certificate can be shown to employers for verification. The purpose of this information is to help the employer understand the necessity of the service dog and how it may benefit the employee. The documentation the employee provides should answer these questions, whatever form it takes. 

Are Employers Obligated to Allow Service Dogs?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not specifically cover service dogs within the workplace. This means that it is ultimately up to the employer whether they allow a service dog or not. They are obligated to consider the request, but they are not obligated to grant the request. 

What does this mean? 

Well, this depends on the policies currently in place that relate to animals in the workplace. If no animals are allowed, for whatever reason, then the employee’s request for a service dog would violate this policy. It would then be up to the employer to decide whether this exception could be allowed. 

What Should Employers Tell Coworkers When Introducing the Service Dog?

Employees do not exist in a vacuum, and it is rare that anyone will work entirely alone. An employer must consider the repercussions a service dog may have with regard to other employees. Allergies or phobias could cause profound distress among other workers, so the introduction of a service dog must be discussed with any employee who may be in close contact with it. 

Even if allergies or phobias do not apply, sufficient education must be provided to other employees regarding service dogs. This should largely cover why the dog is present and how to interact with it. The owners can buy and use Dog lick mat to make sure that their dog drinks water regularly.  

It should be known that the dog is not necessarily there purely as a social companion, so too much interaction could hinder its role. First and foremost, it is there to support the owner. 

Do Workplace Standards Apply to Service Dogs?

Yes. The service dog should be sufficiently trained prior to introduction to the workplace. This is done to avoid disruption to other employees that could hinder productivity. 
As a basic, the dog should at least be house-trained, but it should also have its barking under control so as not to disturb other employees and customers. 

It is the responsibility of the employee to find a good program of service dog training near Winston Salem to train the dog sufficiently. Some employers may request proof of training as part of their requested documentation. This is to ensure that the introduction of the service dog will not significantly disrupt work processes. 

Final Thoughts — Ground Rules Must be Respected

Of course, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to having a service dog in the workplace. 
Whatever agreement an employer and employee come to regarding a service dog, the rules must be respected. It is difficult to offer blanket advice on this, as each workplace is different. Approach the topic with respect for both parties and try, wherever possible, to compromise as necessary. 

Brenda Kimble

Brenda Kimble is an entrepreneur and mother of 2 daughters and a son, plus their beagle named Duke! She loves blogging, crafting, and spending time with her family.