Employment Accommodations: A Case Analysis

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TO: FROM: DATE: RE: MAJOR PROJECT NUMBER 3: EMPLOYMENT ACCOMODATIONS Issues Employee Jim Smith, an Iraq War veteran who has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has requested permission to bring his dog, Truman to work with him. Smith has done research and believes that Truman lessens the likelihood that Smith will experience a PTSD-induced panic attack. Truman is not a trained service animal. Company policy prohibits pets from being at work, with the exception of trained service animals, and there are two blind employees who have service dogs at work. Truman does have specialized training; he was a military bomb dog, but the type of training he received is very different from the type of training a service animal receives. Moreover, there is information that Truman attacked one of Smith's neighbor's dogs. Complicating the issue is that another employee has severe pet allergies, which are already exacerbated by the two seeing eye dogs on the premises. Smith is also an ordained minister in the United Church of All God's Creatures (UCAGC), and one of his religious beliefs is that animals should not be left alone at home all day. Analysis Smith's religious claim has no merit. While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for their employees unless to do so would cause an undue hardship, this accommodation would cause an undue hardship. Hardships are considered on a case-by-case basis, but
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