California's new law tightens regulations around emotional support animals

California Assembly Bill No. 468, effective January 1, 2022, will make it more difficult for healthcare providers to issue "emotional support dog" certifications and also makes it clear that emotional support dogs are "not entitled to the rights and privileges accorded by law to a guide, signal, or service dog."

From Fenwick:

Requests for emotional support animals in the workplace have increased in recent years. Under AB 468, healthcare providers are prohibited from issuing "emotional support dog" certifications unless the provider:

  • Has a valid, active license and includes certain enumerated information concerning that license in the certification;
  • Is licensed to provide services within the scope of the license in the jurisdiction in which the certification is provided;
  • Establishes a client-provider relationship with the individual at least 30 days before providing certification concerning the individual's need for an emotional support dog;
  • Completes a clinical evaluation of the individual regarding the need for an emotional support dog; and
  • Provides verbal or written notice to the individual that knowingly and fraudulently representing themselves as the owner or trainer of a guide, signal or service dog is a misdemeanor