Home Off Topic

Service dog bites someone in the workplace????

1982mako2241982mako224 Posts: 412 Deckhand
edited January 2019 in Off Topic #1
We have a situation.....

Lets say you have an employee who has a legitimate medical issue.  The employer has granted that this employee be allowed to have a support dog in the workplace.  The dog has been in the workplace for about a year.  The dog has created a few issues and the employer has been more than accommodating along the way.   Now the big issue arises.   As visitor walked by paying no attention to the dog, the dog wheeled around in a flash and grabbed him in the leg from behind.  Completely out of character for the dog.  Luckily the man who was bitten is a dog person and more or less laughed it off.  I don't think we have to fear anything from the person bitten.

Now, what to do moving forward?  Clearly the dog can not be in the workplace but there is also the fear of legal issues if we no longer accommodate the employee's "disability" in this litigious era we live in.  Its crazy to me that there should even be a question but that's the era we live in today.

Thoughts?  Can't find much on-line about employer liability for the actions of a service dog in the workplace but I know there must be some exposure.  Without a doubt there would be major exposure at this point if there were ever a second incident.

My personal view is that we got lucky this time but we can never have that risk again......lesson learned.  In this day and age things are never that simple.  Anybody ever run into something similar?
«13

Replies

  • mindyabinessmindyabiness Posts: 6,717 Admiral
    edited January 2019 #2
    I think you're right. I would give the employee a deadline with the option of getting another dog, another job, or an insurance policy.

    I don't know if you can mitigate the liability with the dog or not at this point.
    Is there a way to separate the dog from the workplace but not the employee while working?
    Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to crap on the board and strut around like it won anyway.
  • rock_fishrock_fish Posts: 11,905 AG
    Legit, doctor issued service dog? 

    Or "I'm a snowflake and can't handle the real world" support peacock/hamster/fish/baby gator?

    I say you cant have the dog either way
    Proud supporter of the anti fishing, terroristic (lol what?) movement known as Greenpeace.
  • PolarPolar Lake WorthPosts: 22,464 AG
    Get him or her a service parakeet instead. 
  • 1982mako2241982mako224 Posts: 412 Deckhand
    rock_fish said:
    Legit, doctor issued service dog? 

    Or "I'm a snowflake and can't handle the real world" support peacock/hamster/fish/baby gator?

    I say you cant have the dog either way
    Totally legit in every way as far as that goes.
  • HomerSimpsonHomerSimpson Posts: 6,573 Admiral
    require a muzzle???
  • cracker4112cracker4112 Posts: 865 Officer
    require a muzzle???
    Bingo!
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 13,306 AG
    Can the dog be gated off?  Can you make sure people are a aware and stay clear?

    Dog's are a great judge of character, I am sure the visitor had it coming. :trollface:

    Rest in Peace Captain Todd

  • treemanjohntreemanjohn Posts: 5,438 Admiral
    The juice aint worth the squeeze. I would never have a dog with a history of biting in one of my businesses regardless of reason. You  dodged a bullet this time,. Next time you wont be as lucky
    We’re like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing, and that ends
  • ResinheadResinhead Posts: 10,987 AG
    edited January 2019 #10
    Muzzle the dog or deny access for the dog due to past actions. Whatever you do, do it in writing and have the employee sign the docs.
  • cadmancadman Home of the Gators Posts: 34,337 AG
    edited January 2019 #11
    Is it a service dog or a support animal? A service dog is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. I would contact an attorney and set up a clear policy regarding service animals in the work place.

    There is legal protections for service animals that don't exist for support animals as well. 

    You need the advice of an attorney, 

    Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

  • nuevowavonuevowavo Posts: 6,824 Admin
    rock_fish said:
    Legit, doctor issued service dog? 

    Or "I'm a snowflake and can't handle the real world" support peacock/hamster/fish/baby gator?

    I say you cant have the dog either way
    Totally legit in every way as far as that goes.
    Doubtful. A real trained service dog, such as a seeing eye dog, would never bite anyone, much less have "a few issues". Just because the employee's got a doctor's note does not qualify the employee to have the dog in the workplace, or in any other establishment that does not allow animals.
    According to the ADA, a service animal is one that has been trained to do something for an individual that the individual cannot do for himself. Does this dog qualify under that definition?
    Federales, bring my baby back to me!
  • 1982mako2241982mako224 Posts: 412 Deckhand
    I believe it to be a "support" animal in legal terms.  Attorney is on it.  Covering all the bases.  Sad it has to be that way but its the world we live in.
  • dave44dave44 Posts: 12,225 AG
    I keep seeing the lady with the support peacock at the airport in my mind.
        Not really a fan of “ support” animals, seems a support therapist is what’s needed instead.
  • 1982mako2241982mako224 Posts: 412 Deckhand
    This is a totally legit medical issue.  This is not of the snowflake variety.
  • mindyabinessmindyabiness Posts: 6,717 Admiral
    This is a totally legit medical issue.  This is not of the snowflake variety.
    So, without this dog, this woman would most likely be collecting a government check that we would all be financing. And your company is doing the very best they can to provide employment for someone who would otherwise be a burden to the tax payers.
    Is that correct?
    Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to crap on the board and strut around like it won anyway.
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 5,808 Admiral
    edited January 2019 #17
    This is a totally legit medical issue.  This is not of the snowflake variety.
    That is irrelevant. There is a huge difference between an emotional support animal and a service animal, as many others have mentioned. This sounds like a support animal, which means zero to minimal testing/training. They are almost always just the pet of a person with an emotional/ mental disability ( sometimes legit sometimes not). A true service animal unprovoked attack would be extremely rare. 
    As far as what do do going forward, a basket muzzle like greyhounds use ( allows them to pant and drink, but not bite) would be a good compromise.
    You should have been here yesterday
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,974 Admiral
    Trade the dog in for a cat.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • ResinheadResinhead Posts: 10,987 AG
    Getting a service dog is this easy.


  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 5,808 Admiral
    It is redicilous how easy it is to get your pet certified as an emotional support pet. If you have ever seen a counselor and discussed depression ( most of America) you can get it done. Hate to say this, caused its abused, but it’s a lot easier and cheaper to fly with your pet if it is an emotional support animal.   Sorry to hijack
    You should have been here yesterday
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,974 Admiral
    Is there a way to make the person with the animal totally responsible for any problems that may occur? I mean if you fire her you have to pay for unemployment and could get sued, seems fair that if you keep her employed that she bares the responsibility of her problems.

    I know the lawyers will say no because they want your companies insurance money.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,105 Moderator
    Resinhead said:
    Getting a service dog is this easy.


    And this is the problem!!!!..  It's just too easy top obtain a vest.

    I raise puppies for a legitimate organization that provides service dogs to handicapped people in need.  After 2 1/2 years of training, there is no way any of these dogs would grab an individual. 

    My feeling is that the OP's employee's "service dog" is not certified by any legitimate certifying agency and is merely a companion or emotional support dog. 

    The ADA states business owners and staff are only allowed to ask two questions regarding service dogs. They may ask if the dog is a service animal that is required due to a disability and what type of work or task the dog has been trained to do.

  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 11,944 AG
    surfman said:
    Is there a way to make the person with the animal totally responsible for any problems that may occur? I mean if you fire her you have to pay for unemployment and could get sued, seems fair that if you keep her employed that she bares the responsibility of her problems.

    I know the lawyers will say no because they want your companies insurance money.
    you have no compassion....
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,974 Admiral
    edited January 2019 #24
    Yea, right.

    Says the executioner.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 11,944 AG
    lol

    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • 1982mako2241982mako224 Posts: 412 Deckhand
    Its a real good employee too.  The issue is a very real medical issue and not an imaginary psych or emotional issue.  A tough situation all the way around.
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,105 Moderator
    Tough problem.  A legit medical problem, but a non-certified service dog to help with that problem. 

    Insurance companies will sometimes pay for a certified service dog, but a lot of certifying organizations provide these dogs for free (Canine Companions for Independance, Southeastern Guide Dogs) 
  • stc1993stc1993 Albany, GA Carrabelle, FLPosts: 7,958 Admiral
    Support dogs are not covered by the ADA.  They have to be a certified service dog that does work or tasks that the disabled person can't do.
  • AC ManAC Man Posts: 6,638 Admiral
    What is the employee problem to need a dog? That is the first thing you need to know to solve the problem. I'm not asking for her name or company name.
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 5,808 Admiral
    Its a real good employee too.  The issue is a very real medical issue and not an imaginary psych or emotional issue.  A tough situation all the way around.
    You keep saying that the medical issue is real( i guess you don’t believe in mental issues). But what your not telling us is, is it a support animal or service animal. I believe it will make a difference in a court of law
    You should have been here yesterday
  • MRichardsonMRichardson Posts: 10,455 AG
    Waste of time here, consult with an attorney.

    But please tell me it's not a fibromyalgia support dog.
    This is what happens when you allow women in the workplace.
    I have never seen live bones, but I know that they are often used by rich people to decorate the interior.
Sign In or Register to comment.