A federal judge in Illinois has ruled that a FedEx company policy requiring injured workers to notify and seek approval from a supervisor prior to pursuing medical treatment is illegal. The case is Stevenson v. FedEx in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. U.S. District Judge John Tharp, Jr. ruled Wednesday that this policy violated Stevenson’s right to seek medical treatment without interference. “According to FedEx, the policy does not affect access to, or timing of, treatment, because employees have access to a 24-hour phone line and that even an attempt to make a phone call would satisfy the policy,” Tharp wrote. Further: “At best, these contentions establish that the burden imposed on employees by the advance notification requirement can be minor: a quick phone call, leave a message, and you’re on your way to the doctor. But it cannot be said that the advance notice requirement imposes no burden at all; it is a precondition that must be satisfied (on penalty of termination) before one can seek medical treatment.”
Read full coverage from Workers’ Comp Institute 360 here.
Read the case here.