July 07, 2022

Susan Kline Comments on EEOC Suit Over Service Dog Refusal With Law360

Law360 detailed a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit against a company, alleging that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by refusing to allow a cashier to bring their medical service dog to work. Labor and employment partner Susan Kline spoke to the publication about how employers can navigate these requests.

Kline said it would have been a good idea for the store’s human resources team to consider this in their analysis and evaluate whether any patrons’ animals have caused the kinds of problems they felt the worker’s service dog would.

“Think about comparative situations,” Kline explained. “Here, if customers bring in service animals, has that caused significant issues? Have customers’ service animals tripped people, broken things or triggered allergies? If they have not, then why is this such a great concern?”

Kline also recommended that company leaders center the accommodation conversation on what could help disabled workers fulfill their job responsibilities and not end the dialogue at the first accommodation request that doesn’t pan out.

“Be authentic and thoughtful about that interactive process,” Kline stated. “The whole focus should be what can we do, how can we help you and having a good conversation about alternatives.”

The full article is available for Law360 subscribers.

Full Article
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