Permanent Accommodation Request

Client

A Northeast giftware and collectible company with 2,200 employees in multiple sites throughout the U.S., including manufacturing, warehouse, distribution and retail stores. Some sites are unionized.  Prior to Work & Well, medical leaves were handled by corporate and site benefits personnel. Work & Well handles all non-work-related medical leaves for client.

Situation
An employee in the graphic design department had to travel routinely into NYC to photograph advertising layouts. She requested a permanent accommodation to not travel into NYC due to panic attacks.

Action Taken
Work & Well’s case worker requested supporting documentation from the employee’s physician. Upon review of the documentation, it was discovered that the employee had not actually been treated for her panic attacks for three years and there was nothing in her medical record suggesting a recent flare-up of her condition.

Results
Since the permanent accommodation request was not medically substantiated, Work & Well denied it.

Savings

Work & Well’s determination avoided a major disruption in a small department’s process workflow and prevented potential legal and employee relations liability.
Company-wide, Work & Well reduced overall time out of work due to medical leaves by 25% in the first year. Work & Well denied 17% of the medical leave requests, and implemented a light duty program for disabilities at selected sites, returning approximately 10% of the disability cases to monitored light duty work.