Don’t Let Medical Condition Keep Iowa Woman Out of a Job

Target: Iowa Methodist Medical Center

Goal: Return job offer to woman barred from taking drug test due to a shy bladder

Recently, a woman in Iowa had a job offer from the Iowa Methodist Medical Center rescinded because she could not provide a urine sample for a drug test. This woman, Jennifer Conner, has a diagnosed condition that makes it near impossible for her to urinate in public. She was not given alternate accommodations to allow her to take the drug test. Instead, she was denied the job solely because of her condition.

Conner has pauresis, which is commonly referred to as ‘shy bladder’. This diagnosed condition means that she is uncomfortable and often unable to urinate in a public restroom. When she was asked to give a urine sample for the drug test, Conner says she was put in a room with no running water, which she usually uses to cover the sound, and nurses continually knocked on the door to ask if she was done. These conditions made it impossible for Conner to supply the sample. She offered other methods of obtaining a sample, such as a catheter or a blood sample, and offered to pay the extra expense. However, these requests were denied. Unable to provide a urine sample, Conner lost the offered job.

Pauresis is a recognized disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. By refusing to provide appropriate accommodations, the hospital discriminated against Conner due to her disability. Although workers at the hospital may have assumed that Conner was an unfit employee due to her behavior, the doctor’s diagnosis of pauresis should have dispelled any worries and allowed Conner to have appropriate accommodations. Any employer, especially a hospital, should help their employees or potential employees by providing legally required accommodations. Iowa Methodist Medical Center did not do this for Conner, but instead discriminated against her and refused her the position. Tell the hospital that Conner should again be offered this job.


Dear Iowa Methodist Medical Center:

Recently, Jennifer Conner was denied a job that had been previously offered to her because she was unable to complete a drug test. However, Conner has a diagnosed condition that makes it impossible for her to urinate in public. She offered alternate accommodations that would have allowed her to take the drug test, but these were denied.

I ask you to offer Conner the position once more. Her condition, pauresis, is a recognized disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. By not allowing her to take the drug test under different conditions, you discriminated against Conner because of her disability. You have denied her the right to a position that was once offered to her because of blatant discrimination. Allow her these alternate accommodations and stop the discrimination.


[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. A Shy Bladder is no laughing matter.

    The International Paruresis Association, a nonprofit organization, estimates that the fear of peeing in a public restroom or urinating when others are around affects an estimated 17 million Americans.

    Paruresis is so debilitating for some, it has destroyed careers and lives and made them virtually homebound.

    I should know, for I was one of them, suffering from this social anxiety condition for more than 40 years.

    The inability to produce a urine sample for drug testing purposes and as a pre-condition to employment is seen as a “failure to comply”. As a result, jobs are lost, or, in this case, job offers are rescinded.

    Yet, alternative testing methods are available, such as blood, hair, and saliva. Requests for such tests were made by the plaintiff but denied by authorities.

    Please sign this petition to ensure that future job applicants will not have to endure such harsh treatment.

    Thank you.

    Carol Olmert
    International Paruresis Association Advisory Board Member
    Author, “Bathrooms Make Me Nervous”

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