How Some Employers Are Accommodating For Pets In the Workplace

Pet adoption numbers soared over the last year with many people working from home who hadn't before. To combat the loneliness, many people added a furry friend to their family. However, some workplaces are starting to reinstate office hours, and that means some pets who aren't used to spending hours alone all day will have to deal with a whole new schedule. Some employers, though, are working with their employees to accommodate having pets in-office...

Employers need to carefully consider their policies if they want to allow pets in the office. While it's not uncommon for more laidback offices to have a dog or two, typical work environments need to look at the options. "There are a lot of factors to consider," Jonathan A. Segal, an attorney with Duane Morris in Philadelphia and New York City, said. "Do any employees have pet allergies? What protocols will be put in place to keep the office clean? How will the employer handle potential distractions, damage, messes, and noises that pets may create?"

"The employer should set clear ground rules about when and where the animal will be during the workday and how it will be cared for by the employee, with as little disruption to the office as possible," said Adam Sencenbaugh, another attorney with Haynes and Boone in Austin, Texas, and San Antonio. "The employer should consider ensuring that the animals are housebroken and that the employee who brings the animal be responsible for supervising the animal during the workday." Though some employees will obviously not be comfortable with having pets in the office, the employer should establish pet-free zones and keep an open line of communication. 

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