Company's 'Basic' Approach to Injured Workers Has Been 'Game Changer'

11 Feb, 2021 Nancy Grover


Sarasota, FL ( – Most injuries at Chick-Fil-a restaurants are reported within three days. The lag time has been greatly reduced due to a major change in the company’s workers’ compensation program.

“We made the decision two years ago to let members report their own claims,” said Steve Figlioulo, Principal Program Lead at the company. “Letting them do it, telephonically or online has kind of been a game changer for our program.”

During a virtual session produced by the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Program Figlioulo described what he called the ‘recipe for success’ in its workers’ compensation program.

Self-Reporting Claims

The company consists of mainly owner-franchised restaurants. While the company has continued to add new stores and expanded its workforce at many existing locations, the square footage of the restaurants has stayed fairly consistent. That’s made for some tight spaces.

“The back of the house doesn’t generally have a quiet office space, so it’s hard to pick up the phone and give out details on a claim, there’s a lot of background noise,” he said. “We had to come up with an easier solution for people to report claims.”

Having workers report their own claims was a decision made for logistical reasons. But Figlioulo said it also fits in with the company’s culture.

“Workers comp has that stigma being the void — you get injured and no one really knows what to do,” he said. “We take the approach of really basic stuff; we’re going to pay the claims that are owed, and we’d rather defend the ones that aren’t.”

Having workers report their own injuries fits in with the company’s advocacy approach.

“They have the most knowledge of their injury most of the time, and they get the ability to speak to a triage nurse on the front end,” he said. “It’s important so the nurse can help dictate that level of appropriate care.”

Nurse Triage

Typical injuries at the restaurants are cuts and burns, most of which are low severity claims that don’t require too much medical care. Talking with a triage nurse can make a tremendous difference both in terms of saving money and in the worker’s experience.

“You don’t want the person to wait at an emergency room for five hours to get two stitches when there’s an urgent care down the street,” Figlioulo said. “And the nurses will have that claim information to send over to the provider, to say ‘hey a Chick-Fil-A member is coming and will probably need stitches,’ so he won’t get a bill at home six months later.”

Speaking with a triage nurse is also part of another change the company made in its program; having a live human available to speak with the worker 24/7.  

“That’s made a world of difference,” Figlioulo said. “Team members feel they not only have a voice, but there’s a live person on the phone, even on weekends, who can answer questions — some are basic workers’ compensation questions, but are all new for team members; ‘Who pays the medical bills?’ ‘When do I see a check?’ ‘What do I do about physical therapy?’ The reality is most people have no idea about the nuances of workers’ compensation.”

A ‘free flow of communication’ is how Figlioulo describes the company’s approach to injured workers. The number one question is, ‘what is workers’ compensation.’

“Team members have no idea what it is,” he said. “They have never heard of it, or maybe have seen an ad on TV, but they don’t really have a concept of what it means.”

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    About The Author

    • Nancy Grover

      Nancy Grover is a freelance writer having recently retired as the Director, Media Services for She comes to our company with more than 35 years as a broadcast journalist and communications consultant. Grover’s specialties include insurance, workers’ compensation, financial services, substance abuse, healthcare and disability. For 12 years she served as the Program Chair of the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo. A journalism/speech graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, Grover also holds an MBA from Palm Beach Atlantic University.

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