Legal Considerations for Welcoming Pets at Work

As you develop your pet-friendly workplace program, legal considerations are important, too. This list isn’t comprehensive, but it’s a start on what you should discuss with your legal counsel.

You’ll want to make sure you are complying with any relevant regulations, and that you are protected from liability issues.

  • Understand local and industry rules and regulations – be sure workplace hygiene or other regulations don’t pose an obstacle, and work to overcome any concerns.
  • Consider insurance – get any needed insurance coverage in place before launching your program. Plan ahead so you know how you would handle situations including:
    – A pet damaging something at your workplace
    – A pet being hurt by something at your workplace
    – A pet running away from your workplace
    – A pet biting an employee
    – A pet biting a visitor to your workplace
    – A pet hurting another pet
    – An employee hurting another employee’s pet
  • Agree on scope – decide if your program will apply to employees only or if it will extend to others who are on site, including contractors, temporary workers, visitors or others.
  • Plan for reviews – once developed, have your legal counsel review your policy, code of conduct and any other documentation.
  • Ongoing engagement – stay in touch with your legal counsel as you roll the program out, so you can continue to refine and improve it based on any learnings that arise.

Want more tips? Check out the PETS WORK AT WORK Toolkit for info about how to start and maintain a successful pet-friendly workplace program.

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