Pets in the Workplace Policy
Approved by President’s Council
Adopted February 2000
Updated February 2003
Updated April 2004
The university recognizes the important role of pets in the lives of some employees and students. This document defines the policies within which pet visits to campus are welcome.
For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions will apply:
Pet Owner: Anyone working or studying at the university, including faculty, staff, students, temporary employees, or others who bring a pet to campus. Please refer to the Student Handbook and the Residential Life Office for applicable policies on animals in residential halls.
Pet: A domestic animal that is owned by, resides with, and is cared for by an employee or student. This will include dogs, cats, and fish in aquariums holding less than 25 gallons of water. For the purposes of this policy, pets are not snakes, ferrets, rats and spiders. Those with questions about domestic animals that are not specifically addressed here should call the offices listed at the end of this policy statement. Decisions about the appropriateness of bringing a pet to campus will be made based on any potential risk to the pet and to people in the community, and to the perceived disruptions caused by the pet.
The university will ensure that applicable legal requirements are met. These include, but are not necessarily limited to:
Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA)
Responsibility: The university has a general duty to create a safe and healthful working environment for employees.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Responsibility: The university must provide reasonable accommodations for employees and students with documented disabilities as defined by law. This policy recognizes that Service Animals, under the ADA, are accepted on the PLU campus. Service Animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service Animals are not defined as “pets.”
The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs or animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. Service Animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. Service Animals are allowed to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of campus where the public is normally allowed to go.
In consideration for the general well being, health and safety of all members of the campus community, the following lists detail areas where pets are allowed and restricted areas.
Areas Of Campus Where Pets Are Allowed
- Outdoors, on leash, and accompanied by pet owner
- Individual private offices with walls and door. This includes the private office of the pet owner as well as the private offices of colleagues of the pet owner, where advance permission has been obtained from that person. For example, a pet owner may bring his/her pet to a small meeting in a colleague’s private office, provided that the colleague has given permission to the pet owner to do so. (Note: see exceptions under “Restricted” section.)
- All areas used by employees or students with documented disabilities who are assisted by designated guide or working pets
- Classrooms and instructional facilities only when pets or demonstration animals are used by faculty members for teaching purposes
- Resident Director apartments in accordance with the guidelines set forth by Residential Life
Pets are not allowed in locations or situations other than those noted as allowed in the previous section. Such areas of campus where pets are not allowed include:
- Areas that are open to the public and commonly used, such as libraries, foyers, bathrooms, copy rooms, lounges, meeting and conference rooms, except as necessary to travel en route to permitted locations
- Classrooms and training labs (except for instructional purposes as noted above)
- Dining and food preparation areas; kitchenettes; breakrooms
- Health and medical facilities
- Private offices that are essentially public areas due to the frequency with which they are visited by others and used for meetings
- The Anderson University Center
- Computing and Telecommunications machine room
- Residence halls and offices in residence hall buildings, except as allowed per Student Life Division policies
- Any area or situation in which another person has raised a legitimate concern for health or other reasons about the presence of a pet, except for designated guide or working pets assisting employees or students with documented disabilities
Pet Owner Commitment
Employees and students are welcome to bring pets into the working and learning environment in accordance with this policy and PLU’s “Pet Owner Commitment” procedures. Pets must be cared for in a responsible manner that ensures the safety of those on campus, as well as the safety of the pet. The pet owner may be asked by the university to discontinue bringing their pet to campus, if the relevant policy and procedures are not upheld.
Copies of the procedures will be available in Human Resources and in the offices of the Provost and the Vice Presidents of Student Life and Administrative Services. It is the responsibility of the pet owner to obtain and follow the procedures.
Before bringing a pet to campus, the pet owner will check first with others in the work or learning environment to ensure that there are no concerns, such as allergies to dogs, etc. In the event of legitimate health problems, the pet may not be brought to that area. Otherwise, employees and/or students are encouraged to work together to find a reasonable compromise that is acceptable to everyone. If the pet owner requires the animal’s presence due to a documented disability, then reasonable accommodation will be made.
Procedures governing the use of lab animals in Rieke Science Center or other locations and situations will be addressed by the Division of Natural Sciences, the Animal Usage Committee, and/or other appropriate offices and committees.
Employee questions about this policy should be directed to Human Resources at ext. 7185. Student residence hall questions should be directed to Residential Life at ext. 7200. Student questions regarding other campus buildings should be directed to Student Life at ext. 7191.
Pet Owner Will
- Obtain and follow the pets in the workplace policy and these procedures.
- Check with others in the work or learning environment before bringing a pet to ensure that there are no concerns, such as allergies. In the event of legitimate health problems, the pet may not be brought to that area unless it is required for disability accommodation.
- Care for the pet in a responsible way that ensures the safety of those on campus, as well as the safety of the pet.
- Have the pet regularly checked by a veterinarian, with current vaccinations and documentation.
- Keep the pet on a leash at all times, except when the pet is in the private office of the employee and the door to the office is closed.
- Move the pet in and out of buildings using the most expedient route, minimizing time in areas where pets are not allowed.
- Clean any indoor and outdoor messes immediately. Call Facilities Management with any questions about appropriate cleaning techniques.
- Provide a mat or small rug for the pet in the private office of the employee to protect the carpet.
- Post a sign on his/her office door indicating that a pet is inside.
- Perform an occasional thorough cleaning of his/her office to remove hair and smells associated with the pet, including at the time the pet owner transfers the office to another employee.
- Be responsible for any undue wear or damage to university property that may be caused by the pet.
- Not leave the pet unsupervised in a vehicle if it creates a health risk to the animal.
- Be well socialized, housebroken, and in a clean, groomed, healthy condition with no fleas.
- Be licensed according to the law, with current identification tags.
- Not interrupt the work of others by barking or otherwise causing a disturbance.
- The pet owner may be asked by the university to discontinue bringing their pet to campus, if the relevant policy and procedures are not upheld.
Employee questions about these procedures should be directed to Human Resources at ext. 7185. Student residence hall questions should be directed to Residential Life at ext. 7200. Student questions regarding other campus building should be directed to Student Life at ext. 7191.
These procedures are subject to change without notice as determined by the university.
Last Modified: May 24, 2018 at 4:21 pm