In past posts, we have discussed Unum’s track record of wrongfully denying disability claims and Unum’s bad faith efforts to avoid paying legitimate claims. Unum was again in the news last year when it made significant changes within the upper echelons of company management. Unum is now making headlines again, due to speculation that it is in the process of outsourcing hundreds of jobs overseas.
Unum is apparently currently in talks with several information technology (IT) firms to outsource up to 350 jobs to India. A Unum employee, who spoke to the Portland Press Herald on the condition of anonymity, told the newspaper that as many as 200 jobs could be cut at Unum’s Portland, Maine offices, and estimated that the cuts could affect up to 350 jobs company-wide. The employee reported that Unum was meeting with several vendors to discuss different levels of sourcing. Florida attorney Sara Blackwell, who operates the website ProtectUSWorkers.com, claims that Unum has met with Cognizant and HCL – two multinational IT consulting firms – to discuss the potential move. In an interview with the Times Free Press, Ms. Blackwell expressed concerns that policyholders’ personal medical information may be compromised by outsourcing to countries that don’t have strict provisions such as HIPAA to protect the medical records of policyholders.
It will be interesting to see if Unum’s outsourcing efforts end with its IT department, or whether this is the first step towards Unum outsourcing positions that play key roles in the disability claims process, such as claims managers and in-house medical consultants.