Service Animals

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Will Review Two Special Education Cases this Term

The Supreme Court currently has two important special education cases on its docket for this term. The first is Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District (10th Cir.), which will revisit the free and appropriate public...more

Wheels For Wheelchairs: Massachusetts Mandates Accessible Ride-Sharing

Seyfarth Synopsis: Massachusetts recently enacted its first statewide ride-sharing law requiring companies like Uber to provide accessible transportation for individuals with disabilities. On the heels of news that Uber...more

Torts –Civil Rights – “Bright Line” Rule on Standing

Rebecca Osborne v. Bruce Yasmeh, et al. - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (July 28, 2016) - In California, two overlapping laws, the Unruh Civil Rights Act (Civil Code § 51) and the Disabled Persons Act...more

Accommodating Requests for Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals in your Community

Many community associations are presented with requests for accommodating service animals and emotional support animals. It can be difficult to navigate through the various laws. There are specific obligations required of...more

July 1 Changes to AODA Customer Service Standards

Effective July 1, 2016, the Customer Service Standard Regulation will be revoked.  An expanded Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation will include all standards, including customer service requirements....more

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Special Education Case

On June 28, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an order accepting to hear an appeal out of Michigan in the case Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, No. 15-497, order granting cert, (June 28, 2016), that presents the...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

Lawmakers returned to Raleigh for the Regular Session April 25, 2016. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be distributed weekly during session to keep you up to date on the latest legislative...more

The New California Regulations Part IV: Support Animals in the Workplace

The California Office of Administrative Law recently approved regulations drafted by the California Fair Employment and Housing Council. These new regulations, covering the entire gamut of employment law topics within the...more

All Dogs Go to Heaven, But Can They Go to Work?

Cartoonist Charles M. Shultz once said, "Happiness is a warm puppy." It is a common sentiment among the canine crowd, those who love their dogs as much as they love their friends and family, and science has recently given...more

DOJ and Kent State University reach $145,000 Fair Housing settlement

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Kent State University (KSU) settled claims of discrimination under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) related to the use of emotional support animals in university housing....more

DOJ Reaches $145,000 Settlement Over Access of Emotional Support Animal to University Housing

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Kent State University (KSU) reached a $145,000 settlement over claims of discrimination under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) on January 4, 2016. In 2014, DOJ initiated a lawsuit against...more

Quirky Question #267: An Equine Accommodation?

Question: Our employee regularly uses a service dog in our office, which helps him with stability and maintaining balance around the office, which can be challenging for him due to several medical conditions he has. However,...more

Justice Department Sues Public School For Refusing to Manage Student’s Service Dog

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced today that it filed a lawsuit against the Gates-Chili Central School District in New York because it refused to have its teachers help a kindergarten student with epilepsy and other...more

Five Evolving Issues Confronting Employers in the Hospitality Industry

As the hospitality industry continues to grow and expand, one common goal is to provide all-inclusive experiences for visitors and patrons. Unfortunately, given the breadth of the goods and services offered to the public and...more

Disability Access – Application of Disabled Persons Act and Unruh Act – Service Animals

Seth Flowers, et al. v. Brinda Prasad, et al. - California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (July 17, 2015) - The Unruh Civil Rights Act and Disabled Persons Act vary in their provisions. The Court of...more

California Court of Appeal Rules that Unruh Act Can Apply to Service Animals

On July 17, 2015, a California Court of Appeal confirmed that denying service to a patron with a service animal can give rise to claims under either the Unruh Act (California Civil Code §§51, 52) or the Disabled Person Act...more

That Dog Can Hunt: Appellate Court Rules Unruh Act Protections Apply to Service Animals

In Flowers v. Brinda Prasad (2015) 2015 DAR 8259, disabled plaintiff John Smith and his son Seth Smith brought suit alleging they had been denied service at defendants’ business (the Valley Indian Café in Rohnert Park,...more

DOJ provides guidance on service animal accommodation for housing and beyond

According to a recent Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement, some pets are allowed in the house. HUD filed and settled a civil rights lawsuit against RiverBay Corporation, a New York City-based affordable housing cooperative...more

DOJ Issues FAQs on Service Animals

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued new guidance yesterday regarding the applicability of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to service animals. The new guidance underscores the DOJ’s 2010 revisions to the ADA...more

DOJ Releases Supplemental Guidance on Service Animals Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

With the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) just two weeks away, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has released a new technical assistance document addressing frequently asked questions...more

So a Woman and a Kangaroo Walk into A Bar

On this blog we’ve explored the laws related to service animals and how the ADA’s regulations extend their use far past traditional notions of “seeing eye dogs.” In Wisconsin (admit it, you assumed this blog post was going to...more

Is a Kangaroo a Service Animal? It Depends on Where you Are and What the Animal Does

We recently came across a news story that inspired us to draft this post: A Wisconsin woman and a kangaroo enter a restaurant. (If that isn’t a great joke intro, we don’t know what is.) Another customer calls the police to...more

Federal Lawsuit Challenging Uber X’s Exclusion of Service Animals Shifts into Discovery

Recently, a Federal court in Northern California denied Uber Technologies, Inc.’s request to dismiss an access lawsuit. The plaintiffs, National Federation of the Blind of California (“NFBC”) and individual blind members with...more

“Ruff” Days at the Office: Service Dogs (and Other Animals) in the Workplace

With everything from alpacas, pigs and turkeys, to even a snake being claimed as service animals, it is not surprising that many business owners are asking what truly qualifies as a “service animal” under the law. ...more

Every Dog Has His Day – Even at Work

Some start-ups are already doing it. And, other companies are considering the cost-benefit analysis of allowing employees to bring their pets to work. However, much like an unfamiliar dog, pet policies have to be handled...more

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