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  • Tales of the Red Tape #32: Civil Rights for Bashful Bladders

    There are several colloquialisms for “paruresis” (par-YOU-ree-sis), one of the newer additions to the growing list of ailments supposedly protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): “pee panic,” “stage fright,” and “urophobia,” among them.

    No matter one’s term of preference, they all refer to a difficulty or inability to urinate in the presence of others, be it at home or in a public restroom, if observed or in proximity. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) reading of the ADA, employers must make reasonable accommodations for any worker so afflicted or face legal action by the agency.

    Classified as a “social anxiety disorder” by the psychiatric set, the condition has gained prominence as employers increasingly require drug testing. Coincidentally (or not), some experts say drug use—opiates, in particular—makes urination particularly difficult.

    The International Paruresis Association (IPA) has lobbied for eight years for the government to require employers, prisons, the military, and schools to offer a testing method that does not require a urine sample. Alas, the effort has come up dry (so to speak).

    Under ADA protection, renal retentives also may demand private accommodations in the workplace. Companies would have to comply unless they convince the potty police at the EEOC that doing so would constitute a business “hardship,” or they are willing to risk a court fight over this expansive application of the ADA.

    And yet paruresis is usually treatable; studies document that cognitive-behavioral therapy and/or prescription medication can help the majority of sufferers. This begs the question of why employers should have to spring for additional drug tests and private privies if the “disability” can be remedied.

    It’s largely the fault of Congress, naturally. The 1990 amendments to the ADA eased the standards for establishing a protected impairment. Predictably, the list of disabilities has grown much longer and with it an entirely new set of civil rights, including rights for timid tinklers. It’s impossible to imagine that this is what the Founders had in mind for the nation.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Tales of the Red Tape #32: Civil Rights for Bashful Bladders

    1. Bobbie says:

      When unconstitutional government recklessly spends tax payers money looking to label everything and anyone they can, they'll find the smallest of any one persons personal problem and make everyone else sacrifice instead of respecting people and their minds get over it without changing a thing. For those whose social disorders use psychiatric treatment don't need government interference to accommodate or exploit further and those without psychiatric treatment, work through it all by themselves. All of a sudden there's a pandemic of pee panic, stage fright and “urophobia,” disorder, compliments of needless government belittlement extended role in government oversight control?

      Many people immigrant to this country didn't know how to use a toilet but learned quickly either by knowing before they came or were told using their minds' sense of logic. Unless I'm mistaken I didn't see any government needed tax funded "butt wipe" programs, although today I wonder…

      Here's a cute little story. My husband worked with an immigrant man that didn't know what toilet paper was for, so it was explained. Well, the guy got the impression a whole roll of toilet paper is used at one sitting.
      He clogged the sewer system. But he did learn at the expense of the company with no government involvement and a better person today because of. Get the government potty training monitoring system OUT! they're more disgusting for suggesting beyond their constitutional dereliction …

      we are PEOPLE with minds that won't be given into 3rd world mentality. Putting something so ignorant in place is going to develop paranoia more than help ANYONE!

      • Bobbie says:

        just for all to know regarding this ONE (of numberless many) man was eventually found to be illegal, scooping up all kinds of benefits while costing extensive expenditures, making the same pay we afford our independence while he gets (or got) tax exemptions and government protection on top of his income at our costs resulting our less net worth…

        The government Obama wants "equality" so bad they refuse "equal standards" of people!

    2. Murray J Levy says:

      As a person paralyzed by polio more than 60 years ago, and who truthfully appreciates some of the accommodations that the ADA requires, this article brought on fits of laughter.

      • saveamerica says:

        All the years of the American disabilities act and they come up with adequate stalls for the truly disabled, (80's wasn't it?) While today they exploit as much as they can as a disability<<<<

    3. Roger S. says:

      Time to place the Executive and Congress on their respective potty — until they "produce" — a retraction of thousands over thousands of assinine regs! We might also enjoin them to first ingest massive quantities of laxatives?! Here's a suggestion to somewhat stymie their future propensity for sticking their noses — and other parts — into things which are none of their business: Limit Congressional sessions to a maximum of 3 months per year. That should be all the time required to deal with the real problems of our nation commensurate with remedies authorized by a strict reading of our Constitution. Also, cut their pay to match the 3 required months, forcing them all to spend the remainder of a year pursuing some form of honest employment in their home districts. Lets get away from the "potty" garbage, back to what was the original intent of this grand experiment, namely a collection of free individuals in pursuit of happiness, rather than a collective of envious and intrusive neighbors' slaves, snoops, and micro-managers!

    4. mary says:

      I was going to post a comment here, but now I have to go pee!!!

    5. Nathan Larson says:

      While I don't support requiring employers to provide any accommodations (they should be free to decide for themselves whether the benefits of providing any kind of employee amenity are worth the costs), it would be a mistake to overestimate how many paruretics can be completely cured, especially by cognitive therapy or pills. The more effective treatment is usually graduated exposure therapy, but even that isn't always 100% effective.

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