Why Chick-fil-A’s Workers’ Compensation Recipe Shouldn’t Be a Secret

During a National Comp session, Chick-fil-A’s workers’ compensation program lead shares why the fast-food giant based its program around workers’ advocacy.
By: | February 8, 2021

When Nathan Hammack was in his 20s, he was on his way to a successful career.

He was working at Chick-fil-A, had been selected for his restaurant’s leadership team and was even selected to attend a company meeting that was taking place in Atlanta, just hours from the store where he was working.

As Hammack was driving to the meeting, however, there was a bad rain storm. Hammack’s car started to hydroplane, and he ended up spinning off the highway. His car tumbled down an embankment and crashed into a tree.  

Hammack was pulled from the accident to safety by someone who witnessed the event, but his injuries were severe. At the time of the accident he was paralyzed from the waist down.   

As his employer, Chick-fil-A knew its workers’ compensation program would need to step in and help Hammack get the care he needed. After all, Hammack was on his way to a company leadership meeting in Atlanta. Chick-fil-A took on the case as a workers’ compensation claim. 

“We all agreed, unanimously, this is a claim that needs to be not only picked up, but we also want to make sure that this kid gets the best level of care possible,” said Steve Figlioulo, principal program lead for Chick-fil-A’s workers’ comp program. 

“Fast-forward to today, Nathan is now walking around … You would never know that he was in a life changing event.”

During a virtual session at National Workers’ Comp and Disability Conference — National Comp — Figlioulo will share the story of how Hammack was able to make a full recovery with the help of Chick-fil-A’s advocacy-based workers’ comp program. 

Figlioulo will discuss Chick-fil-A’s approach to complex claims, its strong commitment to worker safety and advocacy, and the unique workers’ comp challenges restaurants face, alongside speaker Scott Westman, senior vice president, casualty operations at Sedgwick, during the session, “Recipe for Success: A Workers’ Compensation Program That is Well-Done” on February 9 at 2:00 p.m. ET. 

Advocacy Goes Beyond Catastrophic Claims

Once Chick-fil-A heard about Hammack’s injury, the team jumped into action. They sent nurse case managers out to visit Hammack as soon as they were notified. Hammock ended up getting into one of the best spine centers in the region, and the facility helped him make a full recovery.  

Chick-fil-A’s advocacy approach extends to well before Hammack’s case, however. A few years back, Figliuolo helped create an advocacy-based approach to claims at Chick-fil-A. 

“Workers’ comp sort of has that stigma of just being the void where you get injured, and no one really knows what to do,” Figliuolo said. 

“If someone does get hurt, we want to give them the appropriate level of care.”

Workers self-report their injuries, and then they’re connected with a triage nurse who can help guide them to the right avenues of care. If they have any questions, injured workers can call a claims team member at any time.  

“There is a live person, not a robot, on the other end of the phone that they can call 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Figliuolo said. 

Meeting the Needs of Restaurant Workers’ Comp

As a restaurant franchise system, Chick-fil-A faces unique workers’ comp challenges that can make running an advocacy-based claims program critical.

Kitchens come with all kinds of unique workers’ comp risks. A worker could cut or burn themselves while preparing food, especially in the quick turn-around environment of a fast food chain. Oil and water can combine to create slippery surfaces, leading to slips and falls.  

“We’re going to see a lot of cuts, a lot of burns,” Figliuolo said. 

Additionally, Chick-fil-A’s status as a franchise restaurant can make implementing an advocacy-based workers’ comp program challenging. Franchised stores are individually owned and operated, meaning that owners are in charge of managing their own workers’ comp programs. 

Through his role at the company, Figliuolo acts as an influencer of sorts to help owners report claims and get the workers’ comp system moving, making him a perfect resource for programs looking for advice. 

His National Comp session offers pragmatic advice for developing an advocacy-based approach and managing complex claims that can be used across all industries. You can register for the session here. &

Courtney DuChene is a freelance journalist based in Philadelphia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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