Thanks to the new Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (Congress couldn’t think of a shorter name?), employers may soon see a rise in the number of employees requesting workplace accommodations for a disability, the crystal ball watchers at Cigna predict.

ADAAA, which took effect January 1, 2009, substantially broadened the definition of who may attempt to seek protection under the ADA, making it easier for an individual to establish that he or she is “disabled” for ADA purposes.

However, making such accommodations need not break the bank. On the contrary, a study by the Job Accommodation Network finds that for every dollar invested in workplace accommodations, employers receive about $10 in return benefits including increased worker productivity and saved costs associated with training a new employee.

To cash in — ahem, help its clients — Cigna recently launched its Workplace Accommodation Services program, which provides employers access to counselors through a toll-free helpline, assistance with identifying at-risk employees and creates well-documented job descriptions that assess an employee’s or applicant’s ability to perform a specific job function. I’m not a paid member of their marketing department, so that’s all I’ve got. Click here for more information.

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