Fairs Year-round Information                                                                               June 2018  
back  In this issue of fyi:
  • Service Dogs:  Guidelines for Allowing Service Dogs on Fairgrounds.

Service Dogs:
What are the Guidelines for Service  Dogs on Fairgrounds? 

Mark Stone, CFSA's general liability claims manager, was recently asked for guidelines regarding service animals on fairgrounds. He did some research and here's what he found out:

As service animals are related to a person's disability, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) comes into play. According to publications on this issue from both the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the state of California DOJ: 

  • Only dogs and in some instances miniature horses* are recognized as service animals.
  • Service dog vs. comfort dog: A service dog is one that is individually trained to do work or to perform tasks for a person with a disability. A comfort dog, on the other hand, is not specifically trained in certain tasks to assist a disabled person. So, if the dog's main purpose is to help a person feel better and it isn't trained to perform a specific task or tasks, then by law it is not a service dog.
  • Generally, entities must permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go.
  • Service animals must be under the disabled individual's (or aide's) control. The dog must be harnessed, leashed or tethered, unless doing so interferes with the service animal's work. If the individual's disability prevents using these devices, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal or other effective controls.
  • When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only two questions may be asked:
(1) Is the service animal required because of a disability?
(2) What work or task is the service animal trained to perform?

Note: Fair staff cannot ask about the person's disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.

  • Allergies or a fear of dogs is not a valid reason for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. In fact, since the allergies and/or a fear of dogs may in itself be a disability, both individuals should be accommodated. 
  • A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove a service animal from the premises unless:
(1) The dog is out of control and the handler doesn't take effective action to control it.
(2) The dog is not housebroken.
  • When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal's presence.
  • Establishments that sell or prepare food must allow service animals in public areas even if state or local health codes prohibit animals on the premises.
  • People with disabilities who use service animals cannot be treated differently from those without service animals.
* Miniature horses  generally range in height from 24 to 34 inches measured at the shoulders and weigh between 70 and 100 pounds. Entities must modify their policies to permit miniature horses where reasonable. Here are four assessment questions that can help you determine whether or not miniature horses can be accommodated at your facility:

(1) Is the miniature horse housebroken?
(2) Is the miniature horse under the owner's control?
(3) Can your facility accommodate the miniature horse's type, size and weight?
(4) Will the miniature horse's presence compromise legitimate safety requirements necessary 
for safe operation of the facility?
Failure to comply with any of the above conditions could put your fair at the risk of being sued under the ADA, which would not only expose the fair to paying damages to the individual, but also to having to pay the individual's attorney fees and costs . Those attorney fees and costs can be, under certain circumstances, several times the amount of the individual's damages. Often, extreme plaintiff attorney fees, in cases where attorney fees can be awarded, become major stumbling blocks to settling cases, even in a situation that was minor and the individual has minimal damages.

Under California statutes, anyone making a false claim that their animal is a service animal can be found guilty of a misdemeanor and can be subject to imprisonment in a county jail for up to six months and a fine of up to $2,500. While this is a helpful deterrent, sometimes the risk of being wrong about a service animal being a comfort animal  and the possibility of being sued  outweighs the risk of having what is really a comfort dog on the fairgrounds. 

For more information on this topic, here's some additional reading:
Questions for Mark? You can reach him at mstone@cfsa.org or 916/263-6171.

Alliant Property Insurance Program Worksheets are 
Due Back to CFSA by June 25

If your fair received an Alliant Property Insurance Program worksheet for the 2018/2019 coverage year, please fill in the needed information and return it to CFSA no later than Monday, June 25. This worksheet includes fee information along with several option choices that need your attention. The new program year begins on July 1. 

Fairs currently participating in the Property Insurance Program that do not return their worksheets by the June 25 deadline will be automatically re-enrolled in the Property Program.  

If you did not receive a worksheet and wish to participate in the Property Program, or if you have any questions about the Property Program, please contact Tom Amberson, risk department manager, at 916/263-6180 or tamberson@cfsa.org.

Participation in the Alliant Property Insurance Program is business choice, and not a requirement.   

CFSA Pool-Member Benefits at  Work: 
The Antelope Valley Fair Put Target Solutions' Online Training to the Test with Everyone from Department Heads to Part-Time Security Staff. The Result? Five-Star Ratings! 
  During CFSA's June 6 board meeting, Dan Jacobs, CFSA board chair and CEO of the Antelope Valley Fair, gave a report on his experience using Target Solutions,  an online training resource made available to his fair at no charge through the fair's membership in CFSA's pool program. "It was hard not to try it," Dan noted, "it doesn't cost us a dollar!" 
Dan's challenge, like that encountered by many fairs, is how to provide high quality workplace training to busy full- and part-time fair employees plus a large volunteer force. Now that he has had a chance to work with Target Solutions, and his staff has had the opportunity to try some of the more than 1,000 training courses, he was pleased to report that the training "is working well for us." He continued that once this program is fully implemented, the Antelope Valley Fair will have more than 2,000 individuals involved in the training program  -  all fair employees, directors, volunteers, and the fair's non-profit workforce. Because this program is offered through CFSA, he added, it's offered at no charge to pool- member fairs.
Department heads at the fair were the first wave of employees to try the training, followed by full- and part-time staff. The next step entails putting their 1,000 volunteers through all of the required courses. The majority have accessed the training from their home computers. For employees without a computer, the fair set up five computers on-site specifically for training purposes. In addition, because all part-time security staff are required by the fair to take seven half-hour training courses off-site, they were paid for the 3.5 hours it took to complete the training. Taking the guess work out of knowing who has and who has yet to complete their training assignments, Dan is able to follow everyone's progress by checking Target Solutions' online progress reports.   
Another helpful feature that the fair will implement is Target Solutions' ability to upload all of Antelope Valley Fair's employee policies onto the Target Solutions' website for easy access by fair staff. Again, Dan can check who has completed the required reading by looking at the online report.
When asked how his staff liked the training, Dan said that at the end of each course participants have the opportunity to rate the training module. To answer the question, he quickly pulled up an evaluation report on his cell phone that showed a consistent five stars (out of five stars) rating from one of his staff members to evaluation questions that included rating the thoroughness of the course material and whether or not they would recommend the course to others. 
If you would like to talk to Dan about how Target Solutions is helping with the Antelope Valley Fair's training program, please contact him at dan@avfair.com.


Target Solutions  is an online training and records management resource available to pool-member fairs at no charge through CFSA's partnership with CSAC-EIA, CFSA's excess insurance provider. The online resource provides instant access via computer, tablet or cell phone to more than 1,000 training modules with topics that include risk management, workplace safety, human resources, professional security, even employment practices for supervisors. Many of the courses are in Spanish as well as English.
To get started with Target Solutions, please contact Mario Castagnola, CFSA risk control specialist, to set up your fair's access account. From here you can schedule staff training and keep track of courses taken and completed. Mario can even develop online training programs to meet the specialized needs of your fair's employees. You can reach Mario at 916/263-6183 or mcastagnola@cfsa.org.

Three of the six hand washing signs available
to all California fairs  
handwashingSigns Up! 
Colorful Hand Washing Signs Remind Animal Barn Visitors to Wash Their Hands 

These sturdy, informative signs feature hand washing-themed safety messages in English and Spanish, and come ready to hang in and around your animal barns and hand-washing stations. The reusable signs are made of flexible Styrene plastic with metal grommets that will help preserve the condition of the signs when used with wall hooks or zip ties.    

Designed by CFSA and funded by CDFA's Fairs & Expositions Branch, the signs come in a set of six (three 24"x36" signs, two 12"x18" signs and one 8.5"x11" sign) and are available to all California fairs. 

For more information about the signs or to request a set for your fair please contact Melissa Thurber at CFSA ( mthurber@cfsa.org  or 916/263-6163) to discuss delivery options.  

News & Events

The 2019 WFA Convention in Reno will be here before you know it.

CFSA's executive team and key department representatives will be there -  participating in informative educational sessions, staffing our trade show booth, and available for one-on-one private meetings. WFA's Professional Development Committee is hard at work (and has been for months) developing timely session topics, finalizing key note speakers and planning fun networking events. Convention details will be rolled out during the San Diego County Fair WFA Open House on Thursday, June 21. 

Convention dates are January 20-23 and there's a  WFA Mobile App for that and much, much more. The recently updated app includes the WFA Datelist, calendar of events, the WFA newsletter and more. 

Open Position: The Cow Palace in Daly City is looking for a Maintenance and Operations
Supervisor 1, District Fairs

For information about the Maintenance and Operations Supervisor 1 position, including general information; minimum qualifications and a full job description; details on how and where to apply; test dates and the testing method; along with the scope of the exam, here's a copy of the job notice from the California Department of Food & Agriculture. The final filing date is Friday, July 6, 2018.

Thank you for reading the  fyi newsletter. If there is something we can do to make  fyi more valuable to you, please  let us know: mthurber@cfsa.org.