Emotional Support Animal Policy Requirements: Protect Your Practice Today

Length: 60 Minutes Expert: Kelly Holden, JD

If you haven’t noticed, the number of Emotional Support Animals (ESA) is skyrocketing, along with owner expectations to be able to bring their animals with them everywhere. This includes your physician practice. EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL.
How you and your staff handle an ESA in your waiting room can have a dramatic effect on your practice. Handled poorly, ESA owners can file a discrimination lawsuit, make a scene, or plaster negative comments across the web. Or, if you incorrectly turn away a service dog, you’ll have to deal with an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) violation.

The answer to protecting your practice against allegations of discrimination or legal violations is to have a clear policy in place and to training your staff on how to handle specific ESA situations. This is where healthcare compliance attorney, Kelly Holden, JD, can help. During this 60-minute online training, Kelly will help healthcare practices learn how to deal with patients who want to bring service and Emotional Support animals into their office in a way that avoids legal violations, litigation, and reputational damage.

Here are the key Emotional Support Animal management takeaways you’ll receive by attending this expert-led training:

  • Understand new state law changes to comply with animal definition overhaul
  • Pin down how to respond to patients falsely claiming that their pet is an “Emotional Support Animal”
  • Exact steps to update your policies and processes with the revised Service Animal rules
  • Cut through the confusion and quickly differentiate between Service and Emotional Support Animals
  • Implement an ADA-compliant policy for service animals that works for your practice
  • Avoid the most common service animal questions asked that will leave you in an ADA lawsuit
  • More easily identify qualifying animals to avoid costly violations and negative publicity
  • Teach your staff how to communicate your ESA policy to patients without causing a scene
  • Successfully navigate patient complaints due to allergy concerns and the ADA
  • Defeat disruptions due to ESAs (barking, pet messes,) without violating applicable laws
  • And so much more…

Many patients believe that their Emotional Support Animals are the only thing that allows them to function normally.  This makes how you manage these patients even more complex. Without a clear policy in place, it’s easy to make an innocent mistake that can lead to a patient filing a costly, stressful discrimination lawsuit. Or, just as damaging, your patient could wage a negative online campaign against your practice, which tarnishes your reputation and drives new patients away.

By attending this online training, you can receive the practical, step-by-step solutions you need to be prepared the next time a patient and their Emotional Support Animal walks into your waiting room. Don’t wait, register for this must-see online training today.

Meet Your Expert

Kelly Holden
JDPartner/Attorney at DBL Law

Kelly is a licensed lawyer in three states, heads the DBL Law’s employment law division, which represents private and public employers in all facets of employment law. She has been advising HR managers and healthcare companies for over 26 years in all aspects of employment law.

Kelly’s employment law practice Includes advising clients on compliance with various employment laws and providing in-house training on such issues. She is a former SHRM member and president of a local chapter as well as several nonprofit boards. More recently, Kelly has been using her acquired expertise in advising companies on complying with COVID-19 employment issues.

Kelly has experience working with the EEOC, DOL, DOJ and litigating cases in federal and state courts. She also advises companies on I·9 compliance and performs I-9 audits. conducts harassment investigations, drafts employee handbooks and employment policies and, does training on all aspects of employment law. Kelly was featured on WI/XU Cincinnati, as a subject matter expert, lo speak on 25 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the impact it has.


The speaker was very knowledgeable and communicated the information effectively. Excellent job! I appreciated the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the seminar.
Kristin Gonzales