PURPOSE: To provide assistance to Full-time Equivalent (FTE) employees and their dependents who have problems in their lives that may have a potential or actual effect on their work performance.
- Guidelines: There are two ways employees can use the Employee Assistance Program:
- Voluntary Self-Referral: The employee on his/her own initiative contacts the Employee Assistance Program In such cases, the College will know nothing of such contacts unless the employee voluntarily chooses to release such information. All employees in full-time equivalent positions are eligible for the voluntary self-referral program.
- Supervisory Referral: When an employee’s problems seriously affect the employee’s work performance and/or the College’s operations, including interpersonal relationships, and the employee is unable or unwilling to solve the problem with normal agency assistance, supervisors may refer the employee to the Employee Assistance Program with or without other disciplinary action. Employees will usually be offered participation in the supervisory referral process as a part of the disciplinary process, however Employee Assistance counseling is not mandatory.
- Voluntary Self-Referrals: Many problems and illnesses are much more amenable to solution or treatment in the early stages; therefore, Voluntary Self-Referrals are encouraged as early as possible. Procedures for voluntary self-referral are listed below:
- The employee contacts the Employee Assistance Provider directly and makes an appointment.
- The employee is encouraged to make all appointments during their lunch breaks or outside working hours. However, if this cannot be accomplished, the employee may use sick leave for time taken away from work.
- The employee and the Employee Assistance Provider discuss the problem or illness.
- The Employee Assistance Provider assesses the problem or illness and refers the employee to the most effective community resource to deal with the problem or illness.
- The assessment process is at no cost to the employee or employee’s dependent family, but when referred for treatment, the employee is responsible for the cost either personally or through group health insurance.
- The Employee Assistance Provider will not release any information regarding the self-referral without the employee’s written consent. Even then, such information will be limited only to whether or when the employee needs sick leave or other time off the job.
- Supervisor Referrals: The procedures and conditions concerning such supervisory referrals are listed below:
- Offers to participate in the Employee Assistance Program will be made to all employees in FTE positions at each stage of the discipline and/or performance appraisal process. Such offers will be in writing, signed by the employee and permanently stored in the employee’s official personnel file. The Human Resources Director will be responsible for mailing copies of these letters to the Employee Assistance Provider. Offers of Employee Assistance may be withheld in cases where one-time offenses require termination. Generally, such offenses will involve serious threats to the security of College operations or the safety of employees or students.
- The supervisor should contact the Employee Assistance Provider to discuss the referral. Afterward, it is the responsibility of the employee to meet with the Employee Assistance Provider. The supervisor’s responsibility is to focus on identifying job performance deficiencies. It is not the supervisor’s responsibility to identify or solve the employee’s problems or illnesses.
- In cases of supervisory referral, the Employee Assistance Provider will inform the referring supervisor whether or not the employee sought help, and whether he/she is participating satisfactorily with the provider, and whether he/she needs to take sick leave. Other details of the employee’s problem or illness will not be released without the employee’s written permission or where otherwise required by law.
- In disciplinary cases where termination must occur, the College may allow the former employee to be later rehired in probationary status dependent upon: (1) cooperative and satisfactory participation in a treatment program and (2) previous job performance that met College requirements. During this probationary period, the employee would not have grievance rights. Such rehires would be based on various factors including but not limited to College service, past performance, present ability to perform the job, etc.
- In cases where employment is conditional on cooperation with treatment, the Employee Assistance Provider will submit a report on the level of cooperation and to the supervisor and the Human Resources Director.
- The employee’s supervisor in consultation with the Human Resources Director will determine whether job performance meets requirements or whether deficiencies are too disruptive for effective operations. Such judgments will be in accordance with other College policies, require the review and the concurrence of the appropriate Vice President and the President before any formal action can be taken.
- An employee participating in the Employee Assistance Program is expected to make progress in resolving work-related problems and to improve work performance to satisfactory levels within reasonable time limits. If an employee refuses to accept appropriate treatment or assistance through the Employee Assistance Program, or if work performance continues to be unsatisfactory or unacceptable, the employee will be subject to College policy regarding disciplinary action and job performance.
- Participation in the Employee Assistance Program will not result in special regulations, privileges or exceptions from standard College policies and practices applicable to job performance.
- The College will provide periodic training for supervisors in Employee Assistance policy, practices and methods of referral.
- Employees will be periodically informed of the Employee Assistance Program through appropriate means.
- The Human Resources Director or designee will monitor the Employee Assistance Program and work with the provider to ensure quality service to employees and the College.
- The Employee Assistance Provider issues periodic reports on program effectiveness. Such reports will not in any manner compromise the confidentiality of employees participating or who have participated in the program.