Drug Testing in the Media
IPA officers have long been aware of the tremendous impact of urine based drug tests on the lives of IPA members. Indeed, the paruresis population faced the “perfect storm” when President Nixon started drug testing returning Viet Nam War veterans in the 1970’s and President Reagan expanded drug testing to American civilians in the 1980’s. At one time, some 80% of American companies were using some kind of urine based drug testing for employment and/or random screening of employees.
Today, the rate of drug testing has declined to 60% of American companies due to the testing costs, employee discontent, and time lost in fighting legal challenges. In one notable case in 1994, a medical doctor with paruresis was fired from his job with a hospital after he was unable to provide a urine specimen. He warned them about his shy bladder prior to the test but was assured things could be worked out afterward. He was unable to provide a urine sample, his employment was terminated, and then he sued for damages due to his lost medical practice. He was awarded ¼ million dollars in actual and punitive damages by a jury who noted that the inability to provide a urine specimen did not equate to a refusal to take a drug test.