Vice Squad
Thursday, May 20, 2004
 
Bashful Bladder


The Chicago Sun Times reports today on a man fired from his job because he wasn't able to pee on command for a drug test. Mr. Smith suffers from paruresis, otherwise known as "shy bladder syndrome". Paruresis has been recognized as a legitimate social phobia by the American Psychiatric Association, but the federal government does not classify it as a disability.

Mr. Smith is suing Caterpillar to get his job back, alleging that they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not offering alternative tests. Interestingly, Smith passed an independent hair drug test he paid for himself before he was fired, but Caterpillar required him to pass the urine test. Hair tests are generally considered more accurate than urine tests.

Maybe Caterpillar should recognize that what people do in the privacy of their own homes should have no bearing on employment status, as long as their actions do not adversely affect their job performance. Do they test people for being hung over? What about those that are jittery from too much caffeine? Smith is a victim, but so are all the other employees throughout the country who are subjected to embarrassing and ridiculous drug tests.

Vice Squad previously discussed this case back in Februrary.

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