Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity (COBID)
Some government projects have specific requirements or targets for their contracts to be awarded to minority-owned, women-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, and emerging small businesses. The primary goal of Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity (COBID) is to level the playing field by providing certified firms a fair opportunity to compete for government contracts regardless of owner ethnicity, gender, disability, or firm size.
Discover which certifications you qualify for. Once certified, you are added to a database searched by many municipalities, state, and pseudo-government agencies, increasing your opportunities to compete for public contracting.
Learn more about getting certified by visiting the Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity online.
The Law Regarding Service Animals and Public
There was a story in the news recently about a dog chasing a cat. Why was that newsworthy? Because it was a service dog attending a showing of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Cats” with its owner, and the cat in question was one of the shows characters (which, if you’re not familiar with the show, was a person dressed as a cat, not an actual cat). Hilarity probably ensued, to the embarrassment of the dog’s owner.
That story reminded me of an issue that sometimes vexes restaurateurs and other business owners – how to deal with customers who make questionable claims that an animal is a service animal, and insist on bringing it onto the premises. This article summarizes the legal rights and responsibilities of customers and business owners in those situations. Businesses are, of course, free to be more accommodating than the law requires.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Oregon’s equivalent law requires “places of public accommodation” (including hotels, inns, restaurants, bars, and other establishments serving food or drink) to allow persons with disabilities to bring “service animals” onto the premises. Contrary to popular belief, though, every animal does not qualify as a service animal just because the customer says so.
First, the ADA currently limits the types of animals that can qualify as service animals to dogs and miniature horses. Oregon’s law is also limited to those two types of animals unless and until administrative rules are enacted that expand the definition to include other animals. Other states’ laws may vary, but, in Oregon, those are the only two animals that qualify as service animals.
Second, the animal needs to be individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the individual with a disability. This includes physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabilities. The work or tasks performed by the service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability.
Examples of specific tasks the animal can be trained to perform include, among other things:
Providing general emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship does not qualify. This means that emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not considered “service animals” under the ADA unless the animal is also trained to perform some other specific task related to the individual’s disability.
The law does not require a license, jacket, tag, or other means to identify an animal as a service animal. Nor does it require medical verification or a prescription.
When confronted with a situation where an individual wants to bring a claimed service animal onto the premises, the business can only ask the following two questions of the individual:
The business needs to take the individual at their word, and allow the service animal on the premises, if the individual answers “yes” to the first question and states a specific task or type of work the animal has been trained to perform.
The individual cannot be charged a fee to bring a service animal onto the premises; even a pet fee charged to other customers, because service animals are not “pets.”
If the service or assistance animal causes damage, then the owner can be charged for the damage so long as the business normally charges other customers for the damage they (or their pets) cause.
Unruly and disruptive animals need not be accommodated. The owner is responsible for supervising and controlling the service animal. The animal must also be housebroken.
If the animal behaves in an unacceptable or threatening way and the handler does not control the animal, then the business can ask that the animal be removed from the premises. For example, a service dog that repeatedly barks or growls at other customers, destroys property, climbs on the furniture unnecessarily, makes a mess on the carpet, or chases an employee (even one dressed like a cat), could be excluded from the premises if the individual cannot or will not control the dog.
The business can also require that the service animal be kept on a leash, harness, or other tether unless the individual is unable to hold a tether because of a disability or its use would interfere with the animal’s safe and effective performance of work or tasks. Even then, the service animal must still be kept under control by some other means, such as voice commands.
The owner is responsible for the care and feeding of the service animal. The business does not need to provide food or water for the animal, or clean up after it. That is the responsibility of the owner.
If a service animal is excluded, the business must still give the individual the opportunity to obtain goods, services, and accommodations without having the service animal on the premises. | Shane P. Swilley, Partner, Cosgrave Vergeer Kester LLP
Access additional compliance information and resources for the hospitality industry, including ADA regulations and downloadable posters at OregonRLA.org/Compliance.
• Fact Sheet #9: Pet Dogs in Outdoor Seating Areas in Oregon
• Oregon/ADA “Sorry, pets are not allowed” Poster
• U.S. Department of Justice, ADA Requirements for Service Animals
• Disability Rights Oregon, Service Laws in Oregon
When you have bed bugs, there’s only so much you can do to kill them by yourself. Apart from contacting a professional for immediate help, there are a few ways to deal with bed bugs. Review this guide by Jen Miller of Jen Reviews for steps you can take.
Working together with the Lottery, we can do good things!
For industry members offering Oregon’s Video Lottery, Responsible Gambling training by the Oregon Lottery helps you maintain a positive business environment by promoting healthy habits among customers who patronize your business.
A staff trained in Responsible Gambling:
With Responsible Gambling training you can:
Start training now with a short Responsible Gambling video.
The Annual Meeting of the members of Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) will be held on Sunday, October 8, 2017 in conjunction with the Annual Convention. Agenda items will include a briefing on the status of the association, election of the ORLA Board of Directors and action to amend the association’s bylaws, as proposed above.
For more information on the Annual Convention, visit OregonRLA.org/Convention or contact ORLA at 800.462.0619.
Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) manages the lodging database used to feed both the Places to Stay section of TravelOregon.com and the Official Visitor Guide (published by Travel Oregon).
How to create a new basic listing in the Travel Oregon Visitor Guide:
If you do not currently have a Basic Listing you can sign-up using the Basic Listing Form.
In addition to the print guide, all lodging properties will receive a complimentary listing online at TravelOregon.com, the state’s official tourism site. New this year: All lodging properties can submit up to 3 photos and a 125-word description to be included with their online listing. Please send all photos (500x500 px preferred) to Listings@OregonRLA.org before December 13, 2017 and review the image guidelines for more information.
Exclusive ORLA member benefit allows for unlimited photos and videos on TravelOregon.com!
ORLA members are afforded an exclusive new member benefit – you can now have unlimited photos and video links (that you provide) to be included within your online listing at TravelOregon.com. This new benefit is made possible through an exciting new partnership with Visiting Media that integrates their unique TrueTour™ platform on Travel Oregon’s website. Members can send in their own photos and video links to ORLA for an enhanced experience online. Please send all photos (500x500 px preferred) to Listings@OregonRLA.org and review the image guidelines for more information.
For questions on updating your listing, contact Jennifer Starr, ORLA, at 800.462.0619 or email Listings@OregonRLA.org. If you are a new property and did not receive the letter to update your listing (and are not currently on TravelOregon.com), please complete the New Basic Listing Form.
Not a member? Give us a call at 800.462.0619 and learn more about all the benefits afforded to ORLA members.
We welcome industry members' submissions of news and information relevant to the restaurant and lodging industry in Oregon. Association members are primarily considered and encouraged to share expertise and perspective following the guidelines below for submitting an article. Please note, we do not publish press releases submitted.
The criteria outlined below in no way guarantees your submission will be published at all, or that a submission will appear in any particular issue. The submission should satisfy the criteria, but is entirely subject to editing for length and content.
To submit an article for consideration in any of ORLA's communication vehicles please email Editor, Lori Little, at LLittle@OregonRLA.org.