There is an interesting case out of Des Moines, Iowa where Jennifer Conner is suing Iowa Methodist Medical Center over the alleged refusal of the hospital to make relatively small accommodations for her disability: shy bladder syndrome. Conner fears urination in public restrooms and could not complete the required drug test for a position with the hospital.
Connor appeared well-suited for the position of organ transplant financial coordinator at the hospital. She is a recent graduate with a Master’s degree in health care administration from Des Moines University. However, she needed to take the drug test. Since she was a teen, Conner has been diagnosed with anxiety condition paruresis. She would often run water or flush the toilet to allow her to use a public restroom. However, the hospital put her in a room without running water and demanded a sample. One would think a hospital would be sympathetic with a condition of this kind. However, the nurses refused to find an alternative room and made things worse by pounding on the door to tell Conner to hurry up. She even offered a blood test to show that she was not trying to avoid the test but was told to produce the sample by the end of the day or lose the job.
Shy bladder syndrome is considered a disability under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. That makes this record a serious problem for the hospital. She is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, including those for lost wages and benefits, attorneys’ fees, emotional distress and pain and suffering.
This could be a true learning experience and an expensive one. For a minor accommodation, the hospital could have avoided this problem. The question is whether it was made clear to the hospital that they were dealing with a diagnosed disability. I would assume that she made that clear since there is no reason not to disclose the information.
Source: Des Moines Register