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JAN is a service of the U.S. Department of Labors Office of Disability Employment Policy. 1 Service Animals in the Workplace Teresa Goddard, M.S., JAN.

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Presentation on theme: "JAN is a service of the U.S. Department of Labors Office of Disability Employment Policy. 1 Service Animals in the Workplace Teresa Goddard, M.S., JAN."— Presentation transcript:

1 JAN is a service of the U.S. Department of Labors Office of Disability Employment Policy. 1 Service Animals in the Workplace Teresa Goddard, M.S., JAN Senior Consultant (800) (Voice) (877) (TTY)

2 Established in 1983 as a national, free service. Specialize in job accommodations and the employment provisions of the ADA. Assist with the interactive process. Give targeted technical assistance. Provide comprehensive resources. Maintain confidentiality. Communicate via telephone, chat, text, TTY, relay, , and social networks. 36,000 contacts per year and 3,200,000 webpage requests per year. Offer live and archived training. Work as your partner. Service Animals in the Workplace 2

3 Requirements Under Title I of the ADA Type of Animal No specific definition of service animal under title I. Therapy or emotional support animals may be considered. Service animal to assist with personal needs may be considered. Reason for Need Service Animals in the Workplace 3

4 Accommodation Issues Service Animals in the Workplace 4

5 Policy Modification Modifying a workplace policy is a form of reasonable accommodation when necessitated by an individual's disability-related limitations, absent undue hardship. Policy only has to be modified for the employee with the disability. The employer may continue to apply the policy to all other employees. Service Animals in the Workplace 5

6 Example A newly hired teacher with a seizure disorder used a service animal to alert her that a seizure was coming on. The school had a no animal policy. The school allowed the teacher to bring her service animal to work and to keep it with her in her classroom. She was also provided breaks to take the service animal outside and given the opportunity to educate coworkers about the use of service animals. The employer reported that the accommodation cost nothing and it was good for the students to see a service animal at work. Service Animals in the Workplace 6

7 Medical Documentation Employers can ask the employee to provide documentation or demonstrate: That an accommodation is needed when the disability or impairment is not obvious. That the service animal is trained. That the service animal will not be disruptive. Service Animals in the Workplace 7

8 Example An employee with post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety worked in a call center. He requested to bring in his service dog as a support animal. Because the disability was not obvious, the employer requested that the employee provide medical documentation to show that the dog was needed for this purpose. The employee provided a limited amount of medical information to the employer along with a document from the agency that trained the dog. Service Animals in the Workplace 8

9 Allergies Responsibility of employer to provide reasonable accommodations when a co-worker is allergic to a service animal? Eliminate in-person contact Reduce amount of in-person contact Service Animals in the Workplace 9

10 Example A newly hired federal employee requested to bring her service dog into the workplace. After starting, a co- worker informed the employer of a severe allergy to animals. The employer moved one employees workstation, provided an air purifier for the employee with the allergy, established separate routes of travel, maintained a regular cleaning schedule, and allowed the employees to communicate in alternative ways in place of face-to-face communication. Service Animals in the Workplace 10

11 Food Establishments Employers may not automatically reject a request to use a service animal as a reasonable accommodation in a restaurant or other food service area. Service Animals in the Workplace 11

12 Example A prep cook with paraplegia was hired to work in a kitchen. He used a service animal to assist with personal needs and when commuting to and from work. His employer allowed the service animal to be present and provided a designated area for the dog to occupy until the employee needed assistance. The employer also allowed the employee to take periodic breaks to attend to the dogs basic daily needs. Service Animals in the Workplace 12

13 Medical Facilities Employers can be concerned with: Vaccinations Shot records General hygiene Service Animals in the Workplace 13

14 Example A social worker with a vision impairment worked in a hospital and used a service animal. The employer was concerned about safety and hygiene issues that could impact patients and wanted to require that the employee provide the dogs shot records. A JAN consultant discussed the situation with the employer and how to approach the employee if there were concerns that the dog might be unhealthy. Service Animals in the Workplace 14

15 On the Job Travel Added expenses for care of service animal Service Animals in the Workplace 15

16 Example An employee used a service animal for balance and had to travel away from the office to attend monthly meetings. She could not take the dog to some of the meetings because of coworkers with allergies. The employer was able to locate a dog care service that could care for the dog while she attended the meetings. The employer paid for this service as it was an added cost beyond what the employee would normally spend for care of her service animal. Service Animals in the Workplace 16

17 Other Basic Daily Needs Interacting with a Service Animal Leave Needed for Training Service Animals in the Workplace 17

18 Example A newly hired receptionist who was blind requested to have breaks to care for her service animal. The employer allowed the employee to take periodic breaks and discussed providing general disability awareness training to the staff so that they knew how to interact appropriately with the service animal. Service Animals in the Workplace 18

19 19 Service Animals in the Workplace

20 JAN Consultants can be reached M-F 9am- 6pm ET by Phone - (800) (voice); (877) (TTY) - Skype - Janconsultants Text – (304) Chat available online at 20 Service Animals in the Workplace


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