Administrative policy regarding the employee assistance program
(A) Purpose/mission. The effectiveness of the university depends on the effectiveness of its faculty and staff. The Kent state university employee assistance program (EAP) is a free and confidential service designed to help retain and restore employees who have job performance problems or are likely to as a result of personal difficulties.
(B) Scope. Areas of personal difficulty include, but are not limited, substance abuse, financial, legal, emotional, psychological, family, marital, stress, bereavement and other types of personal problems.
(C) Eligibility. The program is available to faculty, staff and immediate family members wishing to discuss concerns about themselves, family members, or other aspects of their life.
(D) General guidelines.
(1) Participation in the program is voluntary and a request for help with personal problems will not jeopardize employments and/or promotional opportunities.
(2) Administrators/supervisors are encouraged to make a referral to the EAP when they have reason to believe personal difficulties may be influencing the productivity of their department or interfering with the well-being of an individual.
(3) Utilizing the employee assistance program is not meant to replace existing administrative or disciplinary procedures.
(4) Faculty and staff are expected to correct any substandard performance whether or not they use the program.
(E) Methods. A professional third-party provider is contracted to:
(1) Offer confidential assessment interviews that clarify the nature of the personal problem(s) and referring to prescreened public and private community resources for further evaluation or on-going assistance;
(2) Provide training programs for supervisors and administrators on the functions and services provided by the employee assistance program including how and when to refer;
(3) Offering individual consultations with supervisors and administrators regarding concerns about an individual's well-being and/or performance; and
(4) Provide on-going educational programming through the distribution of pertinent literature and/or the scheduling of speakers.
(F) Confidentiality. EAP records and discussions are confidential. Information held by the contractor may only be released under the following circumstances:
(1) An individual signs a consent form requesting the employee assistance program staff release certain information to certain individuals;
(2) A medical emergency arises requiring information necessary to assist with an individual's care;
(3) Where child abuse/neglect is suspected by or reported to the employee assistance program staff; or
(4) Where release is required by law, e.g., an individual is perceived by the EAP staff as being of danger to themselves or others.
(G) Access. Faculty, staff and family members have direct access to the program or, in the case of faculty and/or staff, a supervisor/administrator may assist with the scheduling of an appointment.
(1) It is not the responsibility of the administrator/supervisor to know how to assess or solve employee personal problems. A referral to the FSAP should be made rather than an attempt to diagnose or treat any personal problems that are brought to their attention. Recognizing that there is a performance deficiency, that it may be related to outside influences and that is free, confidential and professional help available is how the administrator/supervisor can best serve the interest of the employee and those of the university. Hesitating to recognize and discuss declining performance may only prolong the substandard performance and personal difficulties.
(2) The contractor will make services available to employees on a 24-hour, 7-day basis.
(3) It is the right of every employee to use the employee assistance program without fear of reprisal or retaliatory action.
(H) Organization. The manager of university benefits or designee will be the university’s liaison to the contractor. The program may receive guidance from an advisory committee.
Effective: June 1, 2007
Prior Effective Dates: 9/23/1991, 9/19/2005