Internet addiction as an ADA disability: An alarming or reasonable accommodation? What do you think?

Posted on 11-17-2014 by
Tags: Latest Headlines & Stories , trending news

The Age of Information has resulted in countess strides to society allowing individuals to explore their personalized needs and simplifying the procedure of making decisions. While this has led to many celebrated achievement, it has also led us to a concerning achievement – making Internet use an ADA –protected disability.  

The root of this problem stems from September, 2013, when a man checked into the Navy’s Substance Abuse and Recovery Program for alcoholism treatment; however, it was soon discovered the man also had an addiction to his Google Glass device. It was reported by doctors that the patient allegedly used his Google Glass device 18 hours a day, according to an article via the Guardian. 

“The patient repeatedly tapped his right temple with his index finger, … an involuntary mimic of the motion regularly used to switch on the heads-up display on his Google Glass.”

The article goes on to say that these reactions are not limited to Google Glass, but could result from too much use of Facebook as well.

So what should you do if you are faced with an employee who spends too much time on the internet?

You could place a reasonable limit on computer use. The only problem with doing this is that you are avoiding your obligation to engage in the interactive process and as a result are violating the ADA. 

In the end it will not be shocking that the more technology intertwines in our lives, the more other will embrace the idea that internet addiction should be treated as a disability and employers to provide proper accommodations.

What are your thoughts? Should Internet use be an ADA-protected disability and how do you think this may impact the legal industry?

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