PHILADELPHIA, August 12, 2009 - Employers nationwide may soon see a rise in the number of employees requesting workplace accommodations for a disability as a result of the recently enacted Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). To help disability clients address the new requirements and provide solutions to meet employees' needs, Cigna (NYSE:CI) today said it has launched the Cigna Workplace Accommodation ServicesSM program. Most of these services are included at no cost to Cigna disability plan customers and can help employees contribute to their full potential.
According to a study by the Job Accommodation Network, for every dollar invested in workplace accommodations, employers receive about $10 in return benefits including increased worker productivity and saved costs associated with training a new employee1. Cigna's vocational rehabilitation counselors identify ways to keep people at work or return to work after a disability. As part of the Cigna Workplace Accommodation Services program, employers can access counselors through a toll-free helpline, seek assistance with identifying at-risk employees who may be headed for disability if steps aren't taken to prevent it, and create well-documented job descriptions that assess an employee's or applicant's ability to perform a specific job function.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), originally signed into law in 1990, prohibits employment-related discrimination against disabled employees and job applicants. The ADAAA, which took effect January 1, 2009, substantially broadened the definition of who may attempt to seek protection under the ADA, making it easier for an individual to establish that he or she is "disabled" for ADA purposes.
"It's a reasonable assumption that the ADA amendment will likely lead to an increase in the number and variety of workplace accommodation requests. Many employers aren't sure what to expect and may struggle with putting the necessary pieces in place," said Dr. Robert Anfield, chief medical officer for Cigna's disability programs. "While Cigna cannot provide legal counsel for clients, Cigna's vocational rehabilitation counselors have a wealth of experience helping people stay at work or return to work after a disability. With this program, we're sharing our expertise with clients to help in their efforts to comply with the new law, while maintaining or even enhancing workplace productivity."
The Cigna Workplace Accommodation Services has three main components:
For more information about Cigna's Workplace Accommodation Services, please download the brochure at http://www.cigna.com/pdf/WorkplaceAccommodationSvc.pdf.
Cigna (NYSE:CI), a global health service company, is dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and security. Cigna Corporation's operating subsidiaries provide an integrated suite of medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance, to approximately 46 million people throughout the United States and around the world. "Cigna," the "Tree of Life" logo and "Cigna Group Insurance" are registered service marks of Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc., licensed for use by Cigna Corporation and its operating subsidiaries, including Life Insurance Company of North America, Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York, and Connecticut General Life Insurance Company. All insurance products are provided by these operating subsidiaries and not by Cigna Corporation. To learn more about Cigna, visit www.cigna.com. To sign up for email alerts or an RSS feed of company news, log on to http://www.cigna.com/newsroom/register.
1 Job Accommodation Network (Original 2005, Updated 2007). Workplace accommodations: Low cost, high impact. Retrieved July 9, 2009, from http://www.jan.wvu.edu/media/LowCostHighImpact.doc