Dogs to Become Only Service Animal Allowed on Airlines; Tesla Dramatically Lacking in Black and Female Leadership; and More

Dogs are set to become the only official service animal allowed on airlines.

Following outlandish stories of service goats and emotional support peacocks being banned from U.S. flights in the past few years, the U.S. Department of Transportation has decided to put an end to the flying zoo some pilots and flight attendants have been forced to deal with. DisabilityScoop‘s Michelle Diament reported on the new rule set to go into effect in the coming months in 2021, which specifies that dogs of all breeds will now be the only animals considered to be service animals under the “Air Carrier Access Act.” Emotional support animals will also no longer qualify as service animals for a plane flight. 

“Airlines will be able to require passengers traveling with service animals to complete a Transportation Department form ‘attesting to the animal’s training and good behavior, and certifying the animal’s good health,’” Diament reported. The new rule will also allow airlines to require that service animals be kept on a leash or harness, and says the animals must fit within the handler’s foot space. 

“This new rule will most certainly undermine the rights of people with disabilities and instead almost exclusively accommodate the interests of the airline industry,” said Curt Decker, executive director of the National Disability Rights Network, who added that he is extremely disappointed by the change in regulations and believes it “will only serve to exacerbate existing inequities for people with disabilities participating in air travel.” 

For their part, the airlines say the change is a result of problems with urination, defecation, biting and other aggressions from animals brought on planes recently. They also cite a broad number of animals outside of dogs that customers have claimed as support animals, including turkeys, possums, snakes, spiders and more.


Tesla’s first-ever diversity report shows the company dramatically lacking in Black and female leadership.

Two weeks before it is officially added to the S&P 500, clean energy carmaker and tech giant Tesla has released its first-ever diversity report on its staffing and leadership positions. Based on their released data, the company — which has claimed to have a “majority-minority” workforce — may want to work on increasing its diversity efforts within certain areas including Black and female leadership. Among the findings of the Tesla report, CNBC reported that:

  • Men at Tesla make up approximately 79% of the workforce and 83% of leadership roles.
  • Women at Tesla make up approximately 21% of the workforce and 17% of leadership roles.
  • Black employees at Tesla make up approximately 10% of the workforce and 4% of leadership roles.
  • Asian employees at Tesla make up approximately 21% of the workforce and 25% of leadership roles.
  • Hispanic and Latinx employees make up approximately 22% of the workforce and 4% of leadership roles.
  • White employees represented approximately 34% of the workforce and 59% of leadership roles.

2020 has been a remarkable — and highly profitable — year for Tesla so far, with its stock gaining 580% in value, according to Barron’s. By comparison, the S&P 500 index average gain is just 14%. The company is currently worth an estimated $568 billion and will be the largest company to ever enter the S&P completely in a single day when it joins the S&P on Dec. 21. Following its debut on a widely followed index, some insiders believe the company’s value could soar an additional 300% in the next few years, while others speculate its value bubble could suddenly burst, leaving investors devastated at the potential losses they might incur.


D.I. Fast Facts


Number of new jobs the economy added in November 2020. That figure is down dramatically from the 610,000 gain in October — a sign the economy may once again be faltering as the pandemic worsens. Unemployment rates remain at a still-high 6.7% across the country — nearly 75% higher than it was when COVID-19 first struck earlier this year.
The Associated Press


Number of new “Top Critics” movie review site Rotten Tomatoes recently added to its roster in an effort to bolster the diversity of voices being represented. Of the newly approved Top Critics, 60% are women and an estimated 25% are people of color.


Number of pre-packaged charitable box lunches an anonymous 91-year-old Korean war vet recently bought as part of grocery chain Food Lion’s annual “Holidays Without Hunger” program. In addition to the $500 worth of meals, the man also donated an additional $1500 to the program — making his gift the largest ever in the program’s 17-year history. While making the donation, the man told store employees that he’d spent two years as a prisoner of war in the Korean War and was rarely fed. “I’m not doing this for any publicity or recognition,” he told them. “I just, plain and simple, don’t want people to be hungry.”


Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.


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