Should Your Company Allow Pets?

GwendolynHR_1035

It’s almost impossible to work any where these days without running into an employee’s dog, cat, or some other furry little pet or it running to you. Last week, KARK’s D.J. Williams brought his adorable little puppy, Shade, to work in hopes of him becoming the station’s mascot. Unfortunately, his boss was not too receptive to the idea at first. He needs some convincing from KARK viewers. If a post on KARK’s Facebook page gets 100,000 likes, Shade will be the new KARK 4 Today mascot.

This is a wonderful idea on the surface. However when it comes to having pets in the workplace, it needs to be under the right conditions. For example, many years ago when I worked in payroll and accounting, unbeknownst to me, the owner of the company had a really big dog that he frequently brought to work.  One day I ran into the big fella in the hallway and as a result I nearly messed in my pants. Thankfully, the dog was well trained and so were my bowels. “Oh… My  That’s a BIG DOG!” I thought while hoping that the dog would quickly find its way back to the owner. I knew not to run, as that would only make matters worse.

Oh... My That's A Big Dog

Can you believe it, absolutely “No One” told the new employee that the boss brought his very large dog to work? Being the new kid on the block, I didn’t want to stir things up or ruffle any feathers. I tried my best to play it cool. Honestly, I never expected to see a really big dog walking freely in the halls of the corporate office, not in a billion years. I think most employees would want to know this prior to accepting employment especially if they are afraid of dogs.

Back then, I suffered from cynophobia, which is pretty common, from a bad experience I had as a child with a family dog. Luckily, I’m an overcomer. It too years, but I am no longer afraid of dogs. I love my German Shepard. Nevertheless, according to Rachelle Hill’s three part series Pet’s in the Workplace, companies should have a comprehensive pet policy and enforce it. Failure to do so could result in serious legal ramifications. Therefore, here’s a short list of a few things employers should do before opening the doors to its employees’ furry fiends.

5 things employer should do when permitting pets. The employer should:

  1. Require that the owner be in complete control of the animal all the time,
  2. Require the vaccination records from employees to confirm that the pet is up to date on its vaccinations,
  3. Require the owners to have comprehensive liability insurance covering all injures,
  4. Expect employees to sign an indemnification agreement to pay the cost of defending any lawsuit relating to a dog-bite, and
  5. Require owners to have a way to transport the animal in the event it creates a problem at the office.

Source: Virginia Employment Law Journal

 

If your company has a policy for pets, please be mindful of workers that are truly scared of animals as well as those that simply do not want to be bothered by them.  And please… require employees to keep both of the “little” and “large” furry  friends with them at all times (just to reiterate #1).

Tell us what you think. Should your company allow pets?  How do you feel about having pets in your workplace? Should KARK make Shade its mascot? Please like, comment, and share. Until next time….

Keep it đź’Ż

 

 

 

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