If your organization has an EAP:|
The EAP can help employees decide what to do about their alcohol or drug problem. The EAP also can help determine what the employee should do if someone in his/her family or workgroup has a problem. An employee assistance professional will meet with the employee and conduct an assessment of the problem. The employee assistance professional will help clarify the problem, direct the employee to appropriate resources and then follow his or her progress.
Conversations with the employee assistance professional will be protected. EAP records are completely separate from personnel records and can only be accessed with a signed release from the employee. There are clear limits on when and what information the employee assistance professional can share and with whom. However, there also are some limits on confidentiality that may require:
If your organization does not have an EAP:
- Disclosure of child abuse, elder abuse and serious threats of homicide or suicide as dictated by state law
- Reporting participation in the EAP to the referring supervisor
- Reporting the results of assessment and evaluation following a positive drug test
- Verifying medical information to authorize release time or satisfy fitness-for-duty concerns as specified in company policy
- Revealing medical information to the insurance company in order to qualify for coverage under a benefits plan
You should still encourage employees to seek help.
Employers can support their employees by offering a reasonable time period off the job if an employee requires treatment for
drug addiction and by offering adequate coverage for chemical dependency in the organization's health care benefits.
In the absence of a formal EAP, it is a good idea for employers to maintain a list of therapists and treatment facilities
that specialize in the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction. Your local National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence is a good
resource for information about treatment.