For many people, including those with hearing or eyesight disabilities, as well as military veterans, among others, service dogs give them a new lease on life. Service dogs enable these people to accomplish things they likely wouldn’t be able to otherwise, which is why both the ADA and Virginia’s disability rights law allow qualifying individuals to bring service dogs with them in public and to work when necessary. That said, if you believe you have been discriminated against by being wrongfully denied the right to take your service dog to work, our firm is here to help. Contact our seasoned Chesterfield County employment discrimination lawyer from Passero Employment Law today to learn more about your rights and how we can protect them. Here are some of the questions you may have:
What does the law say about bringing a service dog to work?
Under Virginia’s disability rights law, qualifying individuals are allowed to bring guide dogs, hearing dogs, and service dogs with them into the workplace, if it qualifies as a reasonable accommodation and does not pose an undue burden on the employer. These dogs help blind individuals navigate, alert deaf or hearing-impaired individuals to certain sounds, help individuals when they’re having seizures, and more.
You should also understand that as someone with a service dog, you will likely have certain responsibilities, including ensuring the dog is properly trained, harnessed, housebroken, and does not pose a threat to others.
What can I do if I was discriminated against?
If an employer discriminates against you by refusing you to work while accompanied by a service dog that meets all of the aforementioned requirements, there is a chance you’ll have a valid discrimination claim against them. Before bringing your claim, you should do what you can to document the incident(s) of discrimination, such as by keeping a journal of the events. You should also notify your company’s HR department, if it has one. From here, if the discrimination doesn’t stop, you should consider speaking with a dedicated employment lawyer who can help you seek the justice you deserve.
Here at Passero Employment Law, we understand and appreciate the value of service dogs, and if your rights have been infringed upon, we are here to help. Contact us today.