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Retail Store and Warehouse Health/ Safety Concerns Illinois

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  • Retail Store and Warehouse Health/ Safety Concerns Illinois

    I'll be honest, I'm not sure where this should be posted. I hope this area works.

    I have two questions:

    1) Are there certain Illinois health regulations or Illinois state laws that prohibit animals (felines) being used in a warehouse for rodent control? Additional note, this warehouse is used for a retail chain that carries some food products as well as chemicals for farming, as well as clothing, etc.

    Now, I am not sure whether this would also come into play, but we have employees who are highly allergic to animal dander. When this idea of utilizing cats to control a mouse concern was mentioned, this allergic individual was told to 'stay in the offices and out of the warehouse then.'. What about our employees who do work in the area where the felines would be roaming at night, yet locked up during the day? Surely when the employee hired in they were not informed this would be a condition the employee would be subjected. I have a hard time believing with food product this would be acceptable.

    2) Are there also regulations or laws regarding stores allowing animals to be brought into the store itself IF the animal is not a service animal? Again, there are packaged food items in the store along with articles of clothing. I can see perhaps a Pet Smart allowing animals in as it does not sell those above mentioned products, but a regular store that carries everything from family clothing to packaged candies to boxes of crackers, bags of flour, etc. and garden supplies?

    After hearing this may go into effect in our warehouse and after several complaints of people bringing their animals into the stores and we have encouraged it, I don't want to find ourselves with legal/ health violations let alone compromise our employee's or customer's health.

    I would like to present some printed regulations to the executive management committee I just don't know if what I was able to find is pertinent to our type of business.

  • #2
    (1) I would check with your state's dept of health. Unfortunately though you may be opening a can of worms, inspections, etc. Try to do it anonymously if you can.

    As to employee's with allergies, I think that would fall under reasonable accommodations. However, I do have to agree that there might be better solutions to the mice problem that wouldn't affect your employees. More frequent extermination, traps, etc. Here's one article I found about solutions:

    (2) That said, it is my understanding that service dogs/animals fall under ADA and that stores can not ask for proof of need for a service dog/animal so more and more are being allowed into many retail spaces. See : "The ADA requires you to modify your "no pets" policy to allow the use of a service animal by a person with a disability. This does not mean you must abandon your "no pets" policy altogether but simply that you must make an exception to your general rule for service animals." And honestly, it's sad, but a lot of people claim their pet is a service animal and there is nothing you can do to make them prove it. So I see more and more in stores lately because there is no real way to require proof.

    Also just found this website for "emotional support animals" which is more for mental health. I don't know anything about this website : and you too can buy your prescription for $140 from their website and get a certificate of need, but these dont' generally fall under ADA.
    Last edited by hr for me; 01-21-2014, 08:59 AM.


    • #3
      I would also check with your county health department. My gut is that as long as the cats are not in actual production areas, kitchens or around unpackaged foods, it would not be a violation.

      Any employee allergy issues could/would be subject to ADA(AA). It might be entirely reasonable to tell an employee to just stay out of the warehouse if they do not have to perform work there. The fact that there was no need for an accommodation at the time of hire is irrelevant. It is no different than a new cleaning product being used or food being produced which causes a problem.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


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