Collision Repair Shops Should Check Policies Related to Drugs/Alcohol, Animals in Workplace – Autobody News

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John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit

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California-based employment law attorney Corey King discussed a variety of topics during the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) held earlier this year: company drug and alcohol policies, stocking up on COVID tests and “service animals” in the workplace.
As more states legalize marijuana, King said, use of cannabis and related products grows. It’s a good reminder, he said, for businesses to ensure their drug and alcohol policy does not include the phrase “under the influence.” If it does, King said, “that policy is completely untenable and, I would argue, completely unenforceable.”
In a state where the alcohol DUI limit is .08, King said, “Do you really want somebody jumping behind the wheel of that car to test drive it when they would blow a .07? They’re not in violation of the law or your policy because they’re not under the influence by the legal standard for alcohol.”
King also said more employers are getting employee requests to bring a “service animal” to the work place. In order to qualify as a “service animal” under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, it has to be a dog or, oddly, a miniature horse individually trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability.
“The ADA does not recognize emotional support, comfort, companionship or guarding as a recognized task,” King said. “So your emotional support animal isn’t protected under the ADA. This applies even if that person brings you a doctor’s note that says [they] need this emotional support animal.”
If asked about bringing an animal to work, the ADA requires employers to “engage in an interactive process… and provide reasonable accommodations that will allow disabled employees to perform the essential functions of their job,” King said.
Ask what kind of animal it is, he said. If the employee’s disability is obvious, the inquiry is over and the dog or horse must be allowed. If it’s not obvious, ask if the animal is required because of a disability—but do not ask for documentation of the disability. If it is, ask…
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