Saturday, June 6, 2009
Workplace Prof Blog has a very interesting posting questioning whether employers can be liable for technology addiction. Prof Bales cites to a non-law review publication, journal Strategic Change article entitled "The Unbalanced High-Tech Life: Are Employers Liable?"The abstract provides:
- Technology has created new capabilities, as well as new demands, for many of today’s employees. For those who work in technology-enhanced environments, the pace and round-the-clock activity creates a source of stimulation that may become addictive.
- While the potential for this type of behavioral addiction is recognized by both researchers and the popular press, few companies are seriously considering the associated risks, one of which could be legal action against the organization.
- By combining research on addiction, technology use, workplace demands, and legal precedent, this article considers issues likely to require decision by the courts, as well as background on the evolution of related legal questions for insight to possible outcomes.
This is a nice issue to debate, but it is doubtful that an employer could face liability even assuming that technology addiction is disability-which is a big if. Are employers responsible because employees drink? Are bars liable if a bartender becomes develops a problem. Of course not. The same rule should apply here.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein