By Staff Report
Jan. 11, 2013
The DSM-5, the official psychiatrist’s diagnostic manual, has accepted Internet Use Disorder for inclusion, albeit in a section devoted to conditions that require further research.
This “disease” has its roots in a 1995 satirical hoax by Dr. Ivan Goldberg. Despite its dubious origins, over the past decade its acceptance as a legitimate clinical disorder has grown, culminating in its upcoming inclusion in the DSM-IV.
What does this mean for your workplace? If Internet addiction is a psychiatric disorder, then employees who suffer from it may be protected by the ADA. This development has potentially significant implications for your workplace.
The inclusion of Internet-Use Disorder in the DSM-IV raises many more questions than answers for employers. Businesses need to be aware of the possibility that a cyber-surfing employee will raise this issue, and must prepare to address this problem a way that will not walk the employer into the trap of a costly ADA lawsuit.
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