Have you heard of fibro? As in fibromyalgia?
The folks at the Mayo Clinic describe it thus:
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
But some people think that fibro doesn't exist. Or that, if it does, it springs not from real causes but from imaginary ones. Or, worse, from a desire to goldbrick.
The Seventh Circuit begged to differ this week. It sided with a man whose employer fired him because he could not work at all hours of the day. The district court ruled that David Feldman had no case under the Americans with Disabilities Act despite the diagnoses of his regular doctor and a specialist that fibromyalgia made working odd shifts exhausting and excruciatingly painful for him. Feldman's employer, Olin Corporation, had refused to accommodate him with straight-shift work. But later, when a straight-shift job as a tractor operator opened up, Feldman got it. He has worked for Olin since.
Feldman started at Olin in 1974.
The Seventh Circuit held that the district court erred in treating the physicians' opinions as no evidence of disability. The panel reversed the summary judgment in favor of Olin and sent the case back to the district court for trial. Feldman v. Olin Corp., No. 10-3955 (7th Cir. Aug. 27, 2012).