[Nfbn-announce] National Federation of the Blind Supports Blind Machinist in Employment Discrimination Suit Against Railroad

Freeh, Jessica JFreeh at nfb.org
Tue Jul 26 06:25:24 UTC 2011


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



CONTACT:

Scott C. LaBarre, Esq.

LaBarre Law Offices

(303) 520-3584

<mailto:slabarre at labarrelaw.com>slabarre at labarrelaw.com




National Federation of the Blind Supports Blind Machinist
in Employment Discrimination Suit Against Railroad

Omaha, Nebraska (July 25, 2011): With the assistance of the National 
Federation of the Blind, Frank Hohn, a legally blind locomotive 
machinist from Hemmingford Village, Nebraska, is taking his 
discrimination case (Case No. 8:05CV552) against Burlington Northern 
Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) to a jury trial tomorrow.  The trial will be 
held before the Honorable United States District Court Judge Lyle 
Strom.  In 2004, BNSF removed Mr. Hohn from his job as a diesel 
locomotive mechanic, claiming that his visual impairment put his and 
others' health at risk on the job, even though there was no evidence 
that Mr. Hohn had difficulty on the job or had ever endangered 
himself or anyone else.  Mr. Hohn has worked safely in machinist 
positions for over three decades and has never suffered an injury 
because of his blindness.  Since removing Mr. Hohn from his job, BNSF 
has refused to allow him an opportunity to complete an on-site work 
evaluation with the help of the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and 
Visually Impaired.  Such an evaluation would determine the 
accommodations that Mr. Hohn might need, if any.



Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, 
said: "On the twenty-first anniversary of the passage of the 
Americans with Disabilities Act, we stand with Mr. Hohn to combat 
discrimination on the basis of blindness.  Far too often, employers 
use unfounded fears about the safety of the blind to prevent us from 
obtaining jobs or to remove us from jobs we are well qualified to 
do.  The National Federation of the Blind is committed to putting an 
end to this kind of discrimination, which is based on erroneous 
assumptions about the blind rather than on facts and evidence."



Mr. Hohn said: "I look forward to telling a jury how much I loved my 
job and how my disability has never stopped me from working in the 
mechanical fields."



Mr. Hohn is being represented with the support of the National 
Federation of the Blind by Scott C. LaBarre of the Denver firm 
LaBarre Law Offices, and Timothy R. Elder of the Baltimore firm 
Brown, Goldstein and Levy, LLP.





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About the National Federation of the Blind



With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind 
is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind 
people in the United States.  The NFB improves blind people's lives 
through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs 
encouraging independence and self-confidence.  It is the leading 
force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nations 
blind.  In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the 
Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in 
the United States for the blind led by the blind.
























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