Those who count binge eating or excess gambling as faults may soon be able to classify them as disabilities, too.
The American Psychiatric Association just released an updated draft edition of the Manual of Medical Disorders, which will publish in 2013 and includes binge eating and pathological gambling as psychiatric disorders. These are significant and potentially expensive additions, as the number of people who can claim a disability would increase.
But will the potential additions affect the complaints or lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act? Not for sure. Just because the APA considers gambling addiction to be a disability does not mean the ADA will count it.
In fact, according to the EEOC in The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, “the term ‘individual with a disability’ does not include an individual on the basis of compulsive gambling, kleptomania or pyromania.”
Said Dermot Sullivan, a Bryan Cave attorney, to the National Law Review, “I would want to see [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] guidance before I start revamping workplace policies…But if I were an HR director, I’d keep my eyes on these types of cases.”
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