Are emotional support dogs allowed at work?

Therefore, employers in New York City must accommodate emotional support animals whenever it is a “reasonable accommodation.” If the employer determines that use of any animal is a reasonable accommodation, a building owner cannot exclude the animal from the employee’s place of employment or the owner may be liable for …

The workplace has changed in recent years to become more accommodating to employee needs. One area of special interest is the use of emotional support animals in the workplace setting. These animals provide comfort and companionship to their human counterparts, but when is it appropriate to bring them to work? This blog post will discuss the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees when it comes to emotional support dogs in the workplace. We will discuss the potential benefits of having one of these animals present in the office and also the potential drawbacks, such as potential liability issues. We will also provide guidance on how to work with your employer to ensure that everyone involved is comfortable with the presence of an emotional support dog. Finally, we will answer the question “are emotional support dogs allowed at work?”.

What are your options if they refuse to allow you to have your furry friend around and how can you approach them about the significance of your ESA?

Obviously, each of those factors could have a detrimental effect on how well you perform your job. Informing your employer of this can help them understand that you want to keep your job and perform it well, but you need some assistance.

If you’re allowed to work remotely, your employer may need to know that you’re able to keep up with your job and succeed. That will require you to stay organized, have the proper tools and equipment, and understand the importance of constant communication with your co-workers no matter where you are. If you can ensure them that your performance won’t suffer, they may be more willing to give you a remote position.

Your employer should be made aware that they cannot discriminate against you because of a disability. If your ESA helps you with a mental health condition, your employer should consider the animal a reasonable accommodation to help with that disability. When you approach them with that thought, they may be more willing to accept having the animal in the workplace.

It’s also a good idea to get your ESA certified. Typically, people do this to bring their dogs into public spaces and on airplanes. However, it can provide your employer with some peace of mind knowing that your dog is certified and will behave appropriately at work.

The first thing you do is check the ADA to see if an emotional support dog qualifies as a service animal. You find out it’s not. But you discovered that the ADA’s Titles II and III, which deal with public accommodations and services provided by local and state governments respectively, are the only ones that define service animals. The employment provisions of Title I don’t contain a definition of a service animal.

Here’s a sensible course of action you can follow if you want to err on the side of caution: You can treat this request just like any other accommodation request. Here are some concrete actions to take when processing a request to allow an emotional support animal into the workplace:

You are aware of service animals for people with disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) specific regulations governing their use in public spaces such as shops, restaurants, and hotels. However, a recent employee asked if she could bring her emotional support dog to work after saying that she has an anxiety disorder. You conduct research because you’re unsure if this is something you should take into account.

As a starting point, we can say that we experienced the same issue as you did: There is no mention of emotional support dogs as workplace accommodations in the ADA or its regulations. Additionally, there is nothing in the written instructions provided by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal body responsible for Title I

The use of animals, not just dogs, but all kinds of animals, to help people manage the symptoms of disabilities appears to be on the rise. We’ll probably hear more and more about this subject in the future, and maybe we’ll get some clarification, but for now, we hope our pragmatic approach is useful.


Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), unless doing so would place an undue burden on the employer. A reasonable accommodation would be allowing a worker to bring their dog to work, but only if the dog meets the ADA’s definition of a “service animal.”

Any dog (and occasionally miniature horses) that has been trained to carry out specific tasks for the benefit of a person with a physical or mental disability is considered a service animal. Picking up a dropped object, guiding a blind person, operating elevator buttons, calling for assistance, or reminding someone to take their medication are all acceptable tasks. But a dog that only offers emotional support or comfort and hasn’t been trained for any particular job isn’t considered a service animal. These pets are known as “emotional support animals,” but they are not protected by the ADA. Emotional support animals are recognized as a reasonable accommodation under the disability discrimination laws of a small number of states, including California. ).

It’s unclear from your question exactly how the dog will assist you with your PTSD. Your employer won’t be required to make accommodations for you if the dog’s sole function is to comfort you emotionally and it hasn’t been trained to recognize and react to the symptoms of your disorder. However, if the dog helps you with any PTSD-related tasks, like reminding you to take medication or calming you down when anxiety attacks start, your employer must make accommodations for you.

You should inform your employer that you require the dog due to a disability, but you are not required to give further details. Your employer may inquire about the specific task the dog has been trained to carry out, but they are not permitted to demand a demonstration or a medical certificate.

See the Nolos article Psychiatric Service Dogs & Emotional Support Animals: Access to Public Places & Other Settings for more details on service animals in housing or in public settings.

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    What does the ADA say about emotional support animals?

    According to California law, emotional support animals are not permitted in most public spaces but service dogs and psychiatric service dogs are. California law permits people with disabilities to take trained service dogs and psychiatric service dogs anywhere in the state, but not emotional support animals.

    What are the laws around emotional support animals?

    ESAs are deemed a “reasonable accommodation” for a person with a disability, such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD, under Fair Housing regulations. ESAs are exempt from any pet-related restrictions that a housing provider may impose because they are not considered typical pets under Fair Housing laws.

    What if an employee is allergic to a service dog?

    Although the ADA gives employers the right to refuse entry to a service animal that poses a direct threat to others or is not in the owner’s control, in most cases, an employee’s allergies to the service animal do not.

    Can I bring my dog to work?

    It depends on the type of workplace because there are no general laws prohibiting employees or employers from bringing pets to work. ”.