1.40 Employee Assistance Program Policy

I. Purpose

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has been established to provide information, problem assessment, short term problem-focused counseling, and referral to community resources for employees and their eligible dependents. The program has also been implemented to support the College's drug-free college Policy. Employees and eligible dependents may access EAP services to address a variety of problems and concerns (including, but not limited to, marital; family; alcohol/drug related; stressful life circumstances) that may affect employee well-being and/or job performance.

II. Program Description

A. Eligibility

The Employee Assistance Program is available to all full-time employees of the College, spouses of full-time College employees, unmarried children of full-time College employees, including step-children and foster children who are totally dependent upon the employee for support; and unmarried children 19–22 years of age, provided they are full-time students enrolled for at least 10 semester credit hours per term in an accredited junior college, college, university, or trade school, eligibility for the above categories continuing for 30 days following job termination for full-time employees.

B. Types of Referrals

1. Self-Referral

Employees are encouraged to voluntarily make direct contact with the EAP for assistance in resolving a personal concern that poses a threat to his/her personal well-being or job performance.

2. Informal Referral

An administrator, colleague, or friend may encourage contact with the EAP for an eligible employee who may be experiencing personal difficulties.

3. Formal Administrative Referral

In cases in which an employee is manifesting deteriorating job performance, a referral can be made by an administrator within the context of approved College procedures as a part of a process to address the work performance concern.

C. Confidentiality

  1. The EAP is handled by a third-party vendor, and all referrals are strictly confidential. No information concerning an employee's participation in the EAP will be discussed or released without the expressed written consent of the employee. Counseling sessions are confidential (the EAP does provide the College with periodic reports of utilization statistics which do not identify individual participants). Limits to confidentiality are prescribed by law. If an individual communicates to the EAP staff that he/she is going to harm himself/herself or someone else, and in all cases of child abuse, action must be taken in accordance with the law and professional, ethical standards.
  2. In the case of a formal administrative referral, limited information, as indicated here, will be released to the appropriate College official with the prior written consent of the employee.
    1. Date(s) that the employee was seen at the EAP
    2. Whether an assessment was or was not made
    3. Whether a plan for problem resolution was or was not made
    4. Whether the employee agrees/disagrees with the recommendations
    5. Whether the employee is/is not following the recommendations

D. Reporting Time Used for EAP Appointments

If an employee has an initial EAP appointment scheduled during the regular work day, time used should be reported in hour increments as necessity leave. For visits thereafter, if held during the workday, the time used should be reported in hour increments as sick leave.

E. Cost of Services

Up to five sessions per contract year with an EAP counselor are available at no charge to the employee and to each of his/her eligible dependents. After initial visit(s), the EAP counselor may recommend more intensive or specialized professional services that may involve some employee expense. Any costs incurred by utilizing those additional services will be the employee's responsibility. The employee should discuss additional costs and benefit coverage concerns with the EAP staff or with the Benefits Specialist or the Executive Director of Compensation and Benefits.

F. College Jurisdiction

Participation by the College in the EAP does not constitute a waiver of or limit on the College's responsibility to maintain standards of discipline and performance or the right to invoke disciplinary measures. Employees participating in the EAP are expected to maintain satisfactory job performance.

III. Procedure for Formal Administrative Referral

A formal Administrative referral is appropriate when an administrator identifies a job performance problem which cannot be resolved solely by further job orientation, job training, or other informal supervisory-initiated action. (Consultation prior to the referral is made available to administrators by the EAP to assist in the process in making this recommendation.) Before a formal Administrative referral is made, the supervisor must contact Human Resources for guidance.

Refusal by an employee to participate in an Administrative referral may subject the employee to discipline, up to and including termination.


Changes approved by the Board of Trustees on May 6, 2020

Changes approved by Cabinet on February 20, 2006