‘Bashful bladder syndrome,’ could cost employers billions?
It could cost U.S. employers between $2 billion and $4 billion to comply with an obscure Americans with Disabilities Act regulation meant to protect workers who are gun-shy in public restrooms.
According to an informal discussion letter the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued in August 2011, “paruresis” — more commonly known as “shy bladder syndrome” — qualifies as a disability under the amended Americans with Disabilities Act.
The International Paruresis Association defines the odd affliction as the “inability to urinate with others present.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the gold-standard of psychiatrists, categorizes it as a social phobia that affects roughly seven percent of the population — approximately 17 million Americans.
The Association alleges that thousands of people who are afflicted by paruresis have been unfairly fired because of their inability to urinate in a public restroom during random drug screening tests.