Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Paruresis Requires Medical Verification to Excuse Urinalysis Failure; Agreement Willingly Signed Upheld

New York City Transit Authority (Authority) and Transit Workers Union (TWU) employee Joseph Kwok brought action for U.S. Constitutional violations and racial discrimination after being demoted for urinalysis compliance failure. He allegedly suffered from paruresis (shy bladder syndrome). The Authority and TWU's summary judgment for dismissal was granted.

The Authority incorporated employee urinalysis regulations in 1995. Kwok failed his 1997 urinalysis test for non production. He was instructed to see a physician who subsequently failed to diagnose paruresis which resulted in a recommendation for dismissal. At Kwok's grievance hearing, an attorney and a union representative offered a demoted position and dismissal of the disciplinary action which he agreed to. He later claimed that he accepted the offer under duress and brought the action. He alleged property interest violations for the loss of his permanent position, liberty interest violation for damaging his drug free reputation, misapplication of regulations, and that non Asian employees were not treated as harsh.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held that Kwok made the decision to accept the offer knowingly, willfully, and voluntarily and dismissed his Due Process and Equal Protection claims. See: Kwok v. New York City Transit Authority, 2001 U.S. Dist. Lexis 10370.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Kwok v. New York City Transit Authority