Some employers encourage or allow employees to bring their dogs to work, but a eyewear store in Michigan is in trouble with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission because it supposedly refused to allow a disabled employee to bring her service dog to work.
According to the lawsuit filed this week, Direct Optical discriminated against Laurel Miller because of her disabilities — generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder — when it denied her request to use her service dog at work. In addition, the EEOC alleged, Direct Optical fired Miller because of her disability (including for minor performance issues that her service dog could have prevented), and in retaliation for her accommodation request.
Sounds to me like Direct Optical shot itself in the foot. The very definition of a reasonable accommodation is an adjustment in working conditions that allows the employee to do the job. Unless the store can show that accommodating her would be an undue hardship, it’s probably going to lose this lawsuit.
For more on the lawsuit, click here.