That is something the employer needs to consider seriously.
Usually that means an unreasonable expense to the employer.
But here, there would not be a direct expense of banning dogs from the office.
The nature of my job demands that I be in the office at least four days a week, I really have no wiggle room.
Even working from home one day a week has been a stretch and caused some negative feelings on my team, even though they hear me sneezing every 20 minutes when I’m there!
(The ADA also covers emotional support dogs and service dogs, so you have a real pickle if the dogs are there due to disabilities of coworkers.) If not, then a reasonable accommodation might be to ask that the dogs be kept at home or in a doggy day care.
It won’t make you popular with your dog-loving coworkers, but an accommodation like that is probably reasonable under the law.”“One accommodation that would work would be banning all the dogs (except service dogs) from the office.
But they really only work in the long-term if there are effective plans for accommodating people with allergies, as well as people who are afraid of dogs (or other animals) or just not comfortable around them.
In a larger workspace, that can mean having pet-free floors. (And as you can see from this story about someone with allergies who worked in Amazon’s dog-friendly offices, being on a pet-free floor didn’t quite work as smoothly as it was supposed to.) Working from home can be a solution, but as in your case, that’s not feasible with every job.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does require employers to make “reasonable accommodations” for employees with qualifying disability if doing so won’t impose an “undue hardship” on the operation of the employer’s business.
But what’s reasonable to ask, and what’s an undue hardship?
An accommodation is a modification that allows the employee to perform all of the essential functions of his or her job.