More and more, our clients and other risk managers and human resource directors in the industry ask how they can ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA/ADAAA). Sedgwick has sponsored the latest Risk Scenario, produced by Risk & Insurance magazine, which highlights the issue in a “real-life” way. This fictional story shows the potential repercussions of ADA/ADAAA non-compliance and offers some helpful suggestions for putting the right processes in place.
Additionally, Sedgwick recently addressed ADA/ADAAA challenges in more detail during an educational webinar in partnership with Human Resource Executive magazine. Read below for the full Risk Scenario and click here to view our recorded webinar discussion.
Darryl Hammann, EVP Disability Operations
The Scales of Justice
Two employee injuries at national grocery chain Better Harvest produce two very different outcomes. Cheerful and boisterous fish cutter Frankie Burns, who works in the Boston store, injures his back on the job. Testing reveals that he aggravated a chronic degenerative back condition and he is accommodated by his store's GM under the Americans with Disabilities Act, per company policy.
Hector Velasquez is a fish cutter in Better Harvest's Brentwood, Calif. store. While out dancing with his girlfriend, he takes a critical misstep and injures his back. He misses a few days of work and is in substantial pain but eventually returns, worried about bearing medical costs he cannot afford.
Velasquez starts a steady diet of ibuprofen and light beer to help him perform his job but when that is not enough, finally reports his injury to the store's GM, asking for ADA accommodation.
The response from the Brentwood general manager is much different than the well-documented accommodation efforts made for Frankie Burns in Boston. Velasquez is accommodated and then terminated after 90 days.
Soon after, Hector finds a good employment rights attorney, who reaches a substantial settlement with Better Harvest over violations of its company policy and federal guidelines.