This Labor Day we pay tribute to the outstanding economic and social achievements of America’s workforce. Productive work provides so much more than just the means to earn a living — it provides purpose, a sense of accomplishment, expression, dignity, and well-being. We are proud to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s workers and to play a role in helping those who are injured get back to work quickly.
Happy Labor Day from ReEmployAbility!
With an estimated 30 million companies in the US, landing a spot in the top 5000 is no small feat! That’s why we’re so excited to announce ReEmployAbility’s ranking by Inc. Magazine as a member of the 2014 Inc. 500|5000 list. Our company debuted on the magazine’s exclusive list, ranking number 4092 based on our three-year revenue growth rate of 72%. By ranking on the Inc. 5000, ReEmployAbility joins an elite group of well-known brands such as Godaddy.com, GoPro, OtterBox, and TopGolf on this year’s list.
The Inc. 500|5000 list is now in its 33rd year and ranks privately held US-based companies by their three-year revenue rate. The 2014 results compare fiscal years 2010 to 2013. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating at least $100,000 by 2010 and $2 million in 2013. ReEmployAbility’s entry can be found at http://www.inc.com/profile/reemployability
We’re honored to be recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in America. We attribute that growth to the success of our Transition2Work program, which has gained such momentum in the past three years. Since partnering with many of the nation’s top insurance carriers, largest employers, and an extensive network of nonprofits, the program has quickly grown to be nationwide in scope.
Our founders, Debra Livingston and Frances Ford, started the business over a decade ago based on a shared passion for creating positive outcomes for injured workers and a vision to transform the workers’ compensation industry. The success of Transition2Work truly highlights the value of the program.
Transition2Work has achieved incredible results by bringing together business and community – not only in terms of our own growth – for all of our partners and communities across the US. It has helped enhance the recovery process of thousands of people who were injured while on-the-job by focusing on their capabilities. We’re thankful that we have been able to make a positive impact on such a large scale, and honored to be recognized as a member of the Inc. 5000 list!
A recent ruling by the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission reaffirms transitional employment with nonprofit agencies as a viable option for helping injured workers return to work quickly and safely.
Summary of Ruling
On May 29, 2014, the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission issued an order denying the claimant, an over the road (OTR) truck driver injured on the job, temporary total benefits for the period of time he refused to perform duties at two different nonprofit organizations as part of the employer’s return to work program. The Commission also ruled the employer-offered transitional employment at the nonprofit agency was appropriate for the worker’s physical restrictions. The commission stated, “the claimant is released to medium duty work per functional capacity evaluation and work within his restrictions was offered by the employer.”
ReEmployAbility worked with the injured worker’s employer, S & H Express Inc., to locate a suitable nonprofit assignment utilizing its Transition2Work® program for the injured OTR truck driver while on sedentary, no driving work status. The Transition2Work program works with local nonprofit organizations across the US to place injured workers in transitional, modified duty positions while they heal from their injury. In this case, the injured worker misrepresented his assigned duties and refused to report for the assignment. The employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier continued temporary benefits until the injured worker was released to medium duty in March 2014. At that time, the injured worker was again referred ReEmployAbility’s Transition2Work program for placement in a transitional duty assignment. This time, the injured worker was offered two different assignments – one with the Westminster Rescue Mission and another with the Salvation Army. When he misrepresented his capabilities, claiming he could not perform the assigned duties at both placements, the carrier suspended benefits and went to hearing.
Impact on Return-to-Work
We are pleased to add this ruling to the list of states wherein the Transition2Work program has been challenged and favorably viewed by the courts. Quick return to work is a ‘win-win’ for all parties involved in an on-the-job injury and when an employer is unable to accommodate an injured worker in-house, the Transition2Work program is an important option.
The program not only helps make a positive impact on the lives of injured workers by providing safe and meaningful modified duty work, it creates new, energizing experiences for injured workers to work with nonprofits and make a difference in the local community.
It’s been months in the making and we’re very pleased to introduce our newly designed website. With a fresh look and enhanced layout, the new site has been created to be more informative, easy to use, and provide quick access to the information you need.
Here’s an overview of what’s new at ReEmployAbility.com:
- Simpler navigation: The home page and main navigation has been reorganized to be more intuitive and we’ve added sub menus to each section of the site and provide quick access to frequently sought information.
- More information: We’ve enhanced the level of information we provide and the new site includes more in-depth corporate background, new team photos and bios, and a career center. We also added Frequently Asked Questions to address those common questions that arise about our Transition2work program.
- Streamlined Online Referrals: Submitting an online referral for Vocational Services or our Transition2Work program is easier than ever! The site provides one-click access to the referral form from every page, 15% fewer fields, minimal required fields, and more descriptive explanations to assist with the referral process.
- Comprehensive resources: In the newly added, News & Insights, section you can find improved company, program, and industry resources such as company news, jurisdictional updates, industry events, ReEmployAbility’s quarterly newsletter, and articles and case studies. You can also access and subscribe to our company blog, Transition2Work.us, for important jurisdictional updates, program success stories, program, and industry news.
- Improved communications: With the redesign, we’ve added more ways to stay in touch and informed. Now you can contact your Account Executive directly from the site and we’ve linked up to provide broader social media integration. You can find, connect, and share with us now on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter!
Check out the new ReEmployAbility.com here!
Employers and employees in Virginia have cause to celebrate over an important development that can directly affect their worker’s compensation claims costs and outcomes. More importantly, Virginia employees can now reap the benefits of innovative Return-to-Work options, such as performing transitional duty with nonprofit organizations.
The Virginia Commission issued a full board decision late last year that employers can use non-profit organizations to accommodate light duty work when an employee is recovering from a worker’s compensation injury and released to light-duty work. By affirming Deputy Commissioner Robert H. Herring, Jr’s earlier ruling, Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission clearly supported the position that performing light duty work for non-profit organizations does not constitute “subsidized” employment, and not considered to be in a “sheltered workshop.”
In this case, ReEmployAbility secured a position for the Claimant in July 2013 at the local YMCA via its Transition2Work program. The transitional work assignment would require the Claimant to perform light duty tasks such as folding towels, wiping down machines, monitoring the gym, and handing out basketballs to members in return for their keys and membership cards. However, the Claimant filed a Motion for Protective Order and request for sanctions, alleging his employer, Safelite Group, was forcing him to accept “subsidized light-duty employment,” a mundane job that has no restorative rehabilitative value, which he asserted violated the Commission’s Guidelines for Vocational Rehabilitation.
Subsidized employment is often referred to as a “make work” position, usually mundane jobs that have no restorative rehabilitative value — such as counting paperclips. However, performing valuable community service as an option when the employer cannot provide on-site or in-house light-duty, provides productive employee benefits and helps employers retain their talent until the injured worker is capable of returning to full duty.
Virginia workers’ compensation Act encourages employers to procure employment suitable to partially incapacitated employees. (Code § 65.2-510). The unjustified refusal to accept the job offer will jeopardize the employees
Safelite pointed out that the goal of transitional employment enables employers to offer a temporary assignment utilizing a network of non-profit organization who can accommodate temporary restrictions. In turn, injured workers have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the community, boost self- confidence and become re-acquainted with the daily routine of being engaged in the workforce while receiving a paycheck.
“Our company successfully uses Transition2Work for nonprofit transitional work assignments across the US as part of its Return to Work program. It has allowed us to provide modified duty to match workers’ restrictions that we otherwise would not be able to accommodate with our options in-house. It is a beneficial program that has helped many of our employees and we believe our personnel in Virginia should be afforded the opportunity to participate,” said Nathan Hughes, Manager of Risk and Claims, Safelite Group.
ReEmployAbility worked with employer’s counsel, providing documentation and case law from other states to support the position that the YMCA assignment offer should be considered part of the employer’s return-to-work program, and is intended to be temporary until the employer can accommodate the claimant’s work restrictions.
In this case, the Commission was clearly persuaded that asking employees to participate in community volunteer activities for transitional duty was not a sheltered workshop or part of an employer-subsidized organization. We consider this ruling a strong victory for employers and employees alike. Specialty Return-to-Work programs utilizing non-profit transitional assignments help employers retain talent and allow the injured worker to remain connected to the workplace while providing the necessary time to recover from a work-related injury.
Read the full opinion and order on our website, http://www.reemployability.com/news/jurisdictional-updates/
In this edition you can find:
- Fast Growth & Big Changes at ReEmployAbility
- WCI Educational Conference in Orlando
- Transition2Work Success Story
- Program Results
- Upcoming Events
Exciting things have been happening at ReEmployAbility!
Our company has recently witnessed explosive growth, much of which has been fueled by the high demand for our Return-to-Work program, Transition2Work. The program matches injured workers to temporary modified duty work assignments at local nonprofit organizations when the pre-injury employer is unable to accommodate the worker’s restrictions onsite. By partnering business with community, we’ve exceeded our company goals, helped thousands of injured workers safely return to work faster, saved our insurance and employer clients millions in workers’ compensation claims costs, and provided volunteers to our nonprofit partner organizations across the United States.
We set new sales and claims volume records in 2013 and have continued to experience phenomenal growth during the first half of 2014. Some of our accomplishments throughout 2013-14 include:
- In 2013, claim referral volume nearly doubled over 2012 referral activity, increasing by more than 80% overall and by over 95% for Transition2Work!
- 2013 was a record-setting year for Transition2Work, with seven months setting all time high claim referral volume records. We’re continuing to set new records in 2014 and we’re on target to grow by at least 50%.
- New client accounts grew 37% year-over-year from fiscal year 2010 to 2013. We increased our client roster by 50% during 2013, and formed new return-to-work program partnerships with major clients such as Waste Management Inc. and ABM Industries.
- Our Company now contracts with three of North America’s top five insurance carriers, as ranked by direct written 2013 premiums by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
- Our ever-expanding nationwide nonprofit network has now surpassed 20,000 partners across the U.S. To date, Transition2Work has provided over 400,000 volunteer hours to local nonprofit organizations!
With this unprecedented growth, we’ve made some big changes at ReEmployAbility:
- In early February of this year we relocated our corporate headquarters to a new, larger 5,000 square-foot facility in Tampa, Florida.
- To manage the incredible Transition2Work program growth, we have increased our staffing levels by over two-thirds since 2011. Most of the new staff members are part of our team of Placement Coordinators who match injured workers restrictions with appropriate nonprofit work assignments and deliver the friendly and responsive service our clients have come to expect.
- We’ve added new leadership to accommodate our growing organization. Long-time Account Executive Kelly Lawless was promoted to Vice President of Sales, we recruited Rebecca Dearth as Director of Marketing, and added Arthur Freemon to manage information technology and data analysis. Former Transition2Work Supervisor, Brenda Lovely was promoted to Manager and now oversees our Transition2Work and Administrative team with the assistance of newly appointed Supervisor, Lindsey Pittard.
- We created a new sales and client service role to provide consultation and support to clients throughout Transition2Work implementation. Kristy Needham and Corie Wider were promoted to this role as Customer Relationship Managers.
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
— Benjamin Franklin
It’s humbling to reflect on how much we have achieved in just a few short years with our Transition2Work program. Since its inception in 2007, Transition2Work has managed to achieve fantastic results and we know the best is yet to come. ReEmployAbility is on track for another year of record setting in 2014, and, by bringing business and the community together, we’ll continue to achieve win-win outcomes far into the future.
The annual RIMS Conference & Exhibition is fast approaching. This year will be our seventh consecutive year of attendance and we’re busy preparing for another successful event.
Our co-founders, Deb Livingston and Frances Ford, will be joined by our Account Executive Team (Kelly Lawless, Mary Bennett, and Davida Bloomberg) to showcase our specialty Return to Work and transitional employment programs at the conference to an audience of nearly 9,000 risk professionals.
We’re excited about having a presence at this important event. This year’s conference includes more educational sessions, networking opportunities, and three keynote speakers, including actor Ben Stein. As in the past, we expect RIMS 2014 will be an excellent forum for introducing our Transition2Work program and spreading the news about our program’s phenomenal results. Most importantly, we’re looking forward to the valuable opportunity RIMS provides to connect with our customers!
The ReEmployAbility display will be located in the main exhibit hall at booth #1609. If you’re attending the conference, please stop by to visit our team and to get “caricatured” by our two EventToons caricature artists. We will be hosting two artists who will quickly sketch live digital drawings of our visitors and provide you with a full color print on the spot.
RIMS 2014 Annual Conference & Exhibition is a three-day event that will take place from April 27 to 30 in Denver, Colorado.
ReEmployAbility co-founder, Frances Ford, will be moderating and participating in a panel discussion at Workers’ Compensation Claims Professionals’ The 2014 Florida Bar Workers’ Compensation Forum on Friday, April 11, 2014 at 2:20 p.m., in Orlando, Florida.
As part of the Florida Bar Forum Lecture Program, Frances will be discussing light duty return to work using 501(c)(3) nonprofit placement. The panel will cover topics such as the importance of transitional duty, how transitional duty using nonprofit organizations works, and results that can be achieved by implementing such a program. Also on the panel are Kelly Kosmin of G4S Secure Solutions (USA) and Russell H. Young, Attorney, Sarasota.
The Annual Florida Bar Workers’ Compensation Forum is a two-day continuing education seminar for Florida practitioners, claims professionals, supervisors, risk managers, and executives interesting in advancing their knowledge of Florida workers’ compensation litigation.
If you are attending this seminar, be sure to catch this important discussion!
For more information about The 2014 Florida Bar Worker’s Compensation Forum, visit http://www.wccp.org
ReEmployAbility’s Transition2Work program has matched thousands of injured workers with temporary modified duty assignments at its partner nonprofit organizations. As an extension of an employer’s existing return to work program, Tranistion2Work provides transitional employment with a nonprofit agency for an injured worker when the pre-injury employer is unable to accommodate a temporary light duty work release onsite. Injured workers who participate in the program are able to earn income while becoming reacquainted with the work experience, enjoy the camaraderie of a work environment, and experience the benefits of helping the community. In most cases, a successful outcome means the injured worker is able to quickly return back to his previous position with his employer. But every now and then, things work out differently and amazing opportunities develop!
One such case is that of forty-nine year old Jim,* who was a courier for a major storage and information management company. His job entailed picking up bins weighing as much as 70 lbs. and driving a company vehicle to transport client materials to company locations. He injured his right arm when he fell while trying to catch a falling container.
A few months after his injury, his doctor released him back to work on light duty. His employer, unable to accommodate those restrictions, enrolled him in ReEmployAbility’s Transition2Work program. He was placed at a nonprofit called Fifty Forward Donelson Station, one of the thousands of agencies in ReEmployAbility’s national network. This organization enriches the lives of adults age 50+ by providing pathways to health, well-being, and lifelong learning. For Jim, this was the first “office job” he’d ever held—and he was nervous.
Fifty Forward’s Program Director, Lisa Maddox, assigned Jim to the front desk, performing mostly administrative tasks, greeting guests, and giving tours. “We rely heavily on volunteers to help us run our nonprofit organization so we welcomed the help,” said Maddox. “Our members took to him right away! He was very well liked.”
Jim worked at Fifty Forward for four months while he continued treatment for his injury. He learned a variety of new skills, met many people, and reported that he enjoyed the organization and the people he met there. Once Jim’s doctor determined that he had reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), meaning he had healed to his maximum capacity but would have some permanent restrictions that impact his work duties, Jim could not go back to his original position at his company. The requirements of his old job were just too strenuous for what he was now able to do. While unfortunate for the company to lose a good worker, it was even worse for Jim because now he was without a job… or so it seemed.
Because of his newly acquired skills and his stand out performance while in placement with the nonprofit, as soon as Fifty Forward Donelson Station had a position available, they contacted Jim and offered him the job. Jim eagerly jumped at the chance and joined the nonprofit on a permanent basis performing the same job he had held during his participation in the Transition2Work program.
What started as an unlikely job became Jim’s new career. By participating in the Transition2Work, Jim had the opportunity to work, learn new skills, and gain valuable community connections while recuperating from his injury. The connections, experience, and skills gained during his placement with the nonprofit helped to earn him his next job. Once again, Transition2Work has provided a ‘win-win’ solution with positive impacts for all involved!
* Name has been changed.