Sunday, October 9, 2011

Banning service dogs is NOT a solution....

Liberty Mutual posted this story on their website and asked the reader to be the judge.

The City of Indianapolis made two poor decisions. Like schools banning peanut butter, the employees should be told to limit the food with paprika and handle it carefully, not have to have it banned as if they are unable to handle the responsibility of handling food correctly.

Allowing Emily Kysel to have a service dog to help her was a good decision. To ban her service dog but no one else's is a 2nd mistake. Her service dog is as needed as others.

I feel there are better solutions than banning things from the workforce. Banning things never produced a solution. It is better to place the responsibility in the hands of those who are on your staff, and support those who need additional assistance.

In this case, the employer, The City of Indianapolis made poor decisions and employees suffered for those decisions.

Be the Judge: Banning Service Dogs
by Kathy McManus / Liberty Mutual

Emily Kysel has a potentially fatal allergy to paprika. The 24-year-old Indianapolis city worker nearly died five years ago from eating chili, and since then, The New York Times reports, “her allergy has sent her to the emergency room five times and caused her to jab herself with an anti-allergy injection 11 times, sometimes from just inhaling paprika nearby.”

Kysel’s boss banned co-workers from eating any foods containing paprika—like buffalo wings-- at their desks. Her family helped her buy a $10,000 allergy-detection service dog that alerts her to the presence of paprika by jumping on her. But the first day she took the golden retriever to work, a co-worker with an allergy to dogs suffered an asthma attack. Kysel’s boss then banned the dog.

Kysel contends that the city of Indianapolis has treated her unfairly by barring her service dog while allowing blind employees to use theirs. She has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a case The Times says “raises tough questions about how to balance the sometimes clashing interests of co-workers with disabilities.”

You be the judge: what’s the most ethical way to settle this case? Should one person’s allergy outweigh another’s??

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