After having some issues with local Walmart, despite the recent lawsuits and changes in policy, and
having friends that have had the same issues, I was sent the link to their corprate policy regarding Service Animals.
I have decided to post it here so that anyone may have it close at hand.
Service Animals for People with Disabilities Policy
This policy applies to all associates who work for Walmart, or one of its subsidiary companies, in the United
Walmart, is committed to making reasonable modifications to its policies, practices, and procedures to permit
the use of service animals by its customers with disabilities. Service animals play an important role in ensuring the independence
of people with disabilities, and it is therefore our policy to welcome into our stores any animal that is individually trained
to assist a person with a disability.
What Is A Service Animal?
Service animals are individually trained to work or perform tasks for individuals with disabilities. Service
animals are not always dogs; other animals may assist people with disabilities. Service animals come in all breeds and sizes,
may be trained either by an organization or by an individual with a disability, and need not be certified or licensed. Service
animals do not always have a harness, a sign, or a symbol indicating that they are service animals. A service animal is not
a pet. Service animals assist people with disabilities in many different ways, such as:
- Guiding people who are blind or have low vision and retrieving dropped objects for them;
- Alerting people who are deaf or hard of hearing to sounds and the presence of others;
- Carrying and picking up items, opening doors, or flipping switches for people with disabilities who have
limited use of hands or arms, limited use of their legs, or limited ability to bend or stoop;
- Pulling wheelchairs;
- Alerting people with disabilities to the onset of medical conditions such as seizures, protecting them and
cushioning them if they fall and reviving them.
- Doing work or performing tasks for persons with traumatic brain injury, intellectual disabilities, or psychiatric
disabilities, such as reminding a person with depression to take medication or waking him up, helping people with traumatic
brain injury to locate misplaced items, or follow daily routines.
- Providing physical support and assisting people with physical disabilities with stability and balance
People Greeter Responsibilities
Walmart welcomes customers with service animals. People Greeters are the Walmart associates responsible for
determining if an animal is a service animal. Most of the time, people with disabilities who use service animals may be easily
identified without any need for questioning. If you can tell by looking, you should not make the customer feel unwelcome by
asking questions. If you are unsure whether an animal meets the definition of a service animal, one People Greeter and, where
necessary, a member of Store Management may ask the customer only one question:
- Is this a service animal required because of a disability?
If the customer says yes or otherwise explains that the animal is required because of a disability, you should
welcome the person and service animal into the store. Do not ask any further questions about the customer or his or her service
animal. You may not ask a customer questions about his or her disability. You may not ask a customer to show a license, certification,
or a special ID card as proof of their animal’s training. You must permit service animals to accompany customers with
disabilities to all areas of our stores normally used by other customers.
All Associates' Responsibilities Regarding Service Animals
Once a customer with a service animal has passed the People Greeters and entered the store, no associates
may ask the customer any further questions about his or her service animal. You must permit service animals to accompany customers
with disabilities to all areas of the store normally used by customers. This includes areas of the store that contain food.
Treat customers with service animals with the same courtesy and respect that Walmart affords to all of our customers. Service
animals are not pets. Do not interfere with the important work performed by a service animal by talking to, petting, or otherwise
initiating contact with a service animal.
If you have a concern about an animal in a store, contact a manager or assistant
manager. Only a manager (or, in the absence of a manager, an assistant manager) can make the decision to exclude a service
animal, except in the unusual circumstance where a service animal’s behavior requires immediate action to prevent imminent
injury to others and there is not enough time to contact a manager.
In the event that a particular service animal’s vicious behavior poses a direct threat to the health
or safety of others, the service animal is acting out of control and the owner does not take action to correct its behavior,
or in the unlikely event that Walmart can demonstrate that a particular service animal’s conduct fundamentally alters
the nature of the store’s business, Walmart has the right to exclude the animal from a store at that time. Barking alone
is not a direct threat. In addition, a direct threat does not exist if the service animal’s owner takes prompt, effective
action to control the animal. Moreover, Walmart will not exclude a particular service animal based on past experience with
other animals or based on fear that is not related to a service animal’s actual behavior. Each situation will be considered
individually. In the event Walmart excludes a service animal, it may not refuse service to the individual with a disability
when he or she is not accompanied by that particular service animal.
In a store where a People Greeter is not present,
a manager or assistant manager may ask the People Greeter question identified above.
Customers can make complaints about the improper treatment of customers with service animals by calling 1-800-963-8442.
People with disabilities have the right to be accompanied by service animals in Walmart stores under the Americans with Disabilities
Act, and Walmart considers interference with or denial of this right to be a serious violation of company policy. Walmart
will promptly investigate all complaints raising this issue and will take appropriate disciplinary action when associates
fail to comply with this policy.
The link to Walmarts Corprate policy regarding Service Animals.