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New PMDD Validity Raises Concerns


Myra Creighton, a partner in the Atlanta office, was quoted in the July 1 Employee Benefit News article "New PMDD Validity Raises Concerns." The article reported on a women's health condition called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) which may have implications for employers under the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The condition, which causes many women to miss several days of work per month, has been given new validity by the upcoming fourth edition of the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders. PMDD has often been misdiagnosed as depression or personality disorder, rather than something that is unique to women. For the most severe cases, PMDD would fall under ADA protection and employers would have to make reasonable accommodations for patients, which could mean allowing women to come to work late, leave early or take frequent breaks. Myra said that addressing PMDD could present legal difficulty for employers when it comes to ADA. "When you're talking about a psychiatric diagnosis, it's more difficult. It's harder to say something isn't a disability."


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