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Reasonable Accommodation Policy: Service Animals

State Technical College of Missouri does not allow animals in the workplace; however, an individual with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act to bring a service animal to work when medically necessary.  Requests are made using the Request for Reasonable Accommodation form and submitted to the Human Resources department.  Required documents include the request, documentation from a qualified professional requiring the service animal, documentation demonstrating the service animal’s training and vaccination of the animal’s current vaccination status.

In general, a service animal is an animal trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. State Tech will evaluate all requests to bring a service animal into the workplace to determine if the accommodation is reasonable and can be provided without undue hardship. Employees may be asked to bring the service animal to the workplace to demonstrate the animal’s training and ability to be in the workplace without disruption.

If an accommodation is granted to allow a service animal in the workplace the arrangement may be permitted on a temporary or trial basis. Reasonable behavior is expected from service animals while on College property. Disruptive and aggressive service animals must be removed from the premises immediately and permission to bring the animal to work may be revoked.

All animals are required to be immunized against rabies and other diseases common to that type of animal. All vaccinations must be current, and animals must be in good health. Service animals must wear an owner identification tag which includes the name and phone number of the owner at all times. Animals must be on a leash, harness or other type of restraint at all times, unless the owner/partner is unable to retain an animal on leash due to a disability.

The employee must be in full control of the animal at all times. The care and supervision of the animal is solely the responsibility of the employee. The employee is expected to clean and dispose of all animal waste appropriately.



Responsible administrator or office: Human Resources

Contact person in that office: Amy Ames

EFFECTIVE DATE: August 16, 2023

Approved by President: August 16, 2023

Service Animals Frequently Asked Questions

What is a service animal according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

Service animals are animals that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, also known as the animal’s handler.

Do the same rules that apply to a customer bringing their service animal into a store also govern a service animal accompanying an employee to their job?

No. A service animal accompanying an employee to his or her job is viewed as a “reasonable accommodation” under Title I of the ADA, which governs employment. Thus, an employee must request that the service animal be present as an accommodation for their disability. The employer is obligated to take such requests seriously. The employee may request, and the business may allow as an accommodation, an animal that does not meet the ADA definition of “service animal”. For example, the employee could request that their comfort animal, which does not meet the ADA definition of “service animal,” be allowed to come to work as an accommodation.

Is the employer always obligated to allow a service animal into the workplace when requested by an employee?

As with any request for an accommodation, the employer may need more extensive medical information regarding the employee’s disability and explaining how the service animal’s presence will relate to his or her ability to perform the duties of the job, in order to evaluate the request. In general, the employer is expected to grant the accommodation request if:

a) the employee’s disability and the service animal’s function are related

b) the service animal will improve the worker’s ability to perform their job

c) the animal has had sufficient training to not be a disruptive presence in the workplace

d) the accommodation does not present an undue hardship.

What if the service animal is needed only to support the employee’s travel to and from work, and is not needed to perform the job?

In such a case, the accommodation request would be to identify a safe and acceptable space for the service animal during the workday, and for sufficient flexibility and time to care for the animal’s needs. If the disability is not obvious, the employer could still require information about the employee’s disability, how the service animal’s function is related to the disability, and assurance that the animal has had sufficient training not to become a disruptive presence.

Who is responsible for taking care of and monitoring the service animal at work?

The employee is responsible for the care and monitoring of the animal. The employer, however, may need to make accommodations that allow the employee to attend to necessary tasks, such as taking the animal outside to relieve itself. It is important that the employee and employer discuss the details of how the service animal will be monitored and cared for during the workday, prior to initiating the accommodation.

Is the employer responsible for creating a relief area for the service animal?

While the ADA and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) do not specifically require the creation of a relief area, finding a suitable solution is critical to making a service animal accommodation feasible. A relief area need not be a grass strip; service animals can be trained to use an area that is paved – such as an alley – or other out of the way locations. The employee with the service animal is responsible for cleaning up after the animal.

Some individuals are allergic to dogs. How can we deal with that?

As a rule of thumb, strategies that separate the service animal from the affected worker offer simple solutions. The presence of another employee’s mild allergy to a service animal is not usually a sufficient reason to prohibit the accommodation.

May an employer limit where a service animal is allowed to go in the workplace?

The service animal is not a pet, and it may need to be near the employee to provide its support. At the same time, health and safety regulations can restrict even a service animal.

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