Workers' Comp

Returning to the Same Employer in a Different Job


A Vocational Return-To-Work Success Story

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“Brock” was a 19-year-old Vermont resident working his first job as a machine operator for an electrical circuit board manufacturing company, when he got his hand trapped in a hydraulic machine press. The accident resulted in the traumatic amputation of his left thumb. As required by the state of Vermont, his case was referred to Genex for a vocational assessment.

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The Genex vocational case manager (VCM) determined Brock was entitled to services and began vocational counseling. Brock shared that since his last surgery, his hand grip strength had improved, but he still had difficulty with gripping and grasping objects. His physician supported a modified release for work and prescribed additional physical therapy. The VCM provided vocational counseling and suggested that Brock speak with his supervisor to explore if there were opportunities to return to work while he continued to recover. Brock verbalized anxiety over returning to work, fearing he would not be able to perform the work, how others would treat him, and possibly re-injuring himself.

The VCM provided additional counseling and encouragement to Brock, who decided to speak to his supervisor. He was invited to come in for a meeting with the human resource manager with his modified duty release note.

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To his amazement, Brock’s supervisor and HR manager offered him a new position assembling circuit boards at the same rate of pay, which he accepted. After 30 days, the VCM followed up with Brock, who was very upbeat about his return to work. He expressed appreciation and surprise for not only being supported for returning to work, but also how encouraging all his coworkers were. He shared how his treating providers were impressed with his continued recovery and approved releasing him to full duty with no restrictions related to his new position.

Genex VCM assistance helped Brock understand that his impairment did not equate to a disability. With the support of his employer, he was able to return to work with the employer he initially thought would be terminating him. And, by using Genex vocational services, his employer saved nearly $3,500 by avoiding retraining expenses.