Suit claims Safety Vision fired visually impaired employee

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Sep. 6, 2012, 2:10pm

HOUSTON - Safety Vision LLC is being sued for its alleged failure to accommodate a visually impaired employee's requests.

According to a lawsuit filed Sept. 4 in Houston federal court, Harris County resident Jaclyn Jurach claims she lost her job with Safety Vision after she repeatedly asked to work in an area free of fluorescent lighting.

The company website states that Safety Vision supplies "the public and private sectors with onboard video technology to enhance safety, reduce risk, improve productivity, and maximize profit."

The defendant hired Jurach as its service and warranty manager and trade show coordinator in late 2005, but the plaintiff delayed her first day of employment because of an eye procedure.

Jurach's eye condition caused her to be "extremely" sensitive to artificial lighting, especially fluorescent lights, and her ability to read, concentrate and think were substantially limited by artificial light, the suit states. Jurach claims she relayed this information to the defendant.

The suit explains Safety Vision's offices had fluorescent lighting much to the complainant's detriment, causing her to constantly seek permission to work in a setting with natural lighting.

After another eye operation in early 2010, Jurach grew more sensitive to the defendant's lighting conditions and "her requests for accommodation grew in frequency and urgency."

Upon the business's move to an upper floor, Jurach asked to be assigned a workspace away from the artificial lighting, but was unsuccessful.

According to the plaintiff, "she endured so much pain ... she could not keep from crying at her desk."

A sympathetic colleague tried to unscrew the lights overhead, but the attempt was futile "because there remained a dozen or so other rods that were in front of her and in her immediate vicinity that were the cause of Ms. Jurach’s extreme discomfort."

Jurach shows Safety Vision neglected to have her work in a room she felt was suitable for her eyes and requests related to the matter "were ignored and then denied," the suit says.

She adds working from home -- an idea of Safety Vision's -- made her job more difficult since "she still had to endure painful headaches three days a week."

One last request was made before the defendant fired her in October 2010.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Jacqueline A. Armstrong of Houston is representing Jurach.

Case No. 4:12-cv-2629

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