Should Dogs Be Allowed at Work?

I read a story in the Boston Herald about a woman who had been bringing her dog to work at the town dump for years, but recently got a new boss who told her she’d have to leave Hank, a 4-year old beagle, at home.  What do you think, readers?

The tone of the story itself was positive, stating that the woman had received a bunch of support.  However, I was surprised by the overwhelmingly negative comments on the Herald’s website.  People were calling the woman names, saying the dog was retarded, telling her to get a life and deal with reality.   Although I agree that a boss has the right to determine what is acceptable in the workplace, it seems that there ought to be a company policy so that all supervisors treat everyone the same way.  Part of me also thinks that if the practice has been allowed for a number of years with no problems, it really shouldn’t be a problem now.

Many of the commenters suggested that the city was leaving itself open to massive liability by allowing a dog in the workplace.  This may be true, but it is also true that people are likely to sue over many things that don’t get eliminated.  Also, the woman presumably had enough insurance to cover any lawsuits that may have arisen over the dog’s presence in the workplace.

I found it hysterical that the woman is now bringing a stuffed beagle to work each day in protest.  Many of the commenters thought this was childish.

So, what’s the consensus here?  Any lawyers among you who have an opinion on the liability issue?  Please leave a comment below with your thoughts.

Until next time,

Good day, and good dog!

Photo credit:  Patrick Whittemore

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