Employee Assistance Program

University Policy: 
Executive Summary: 

The University encourages employees experiencing personal problems, including emotional illness, alcohol and drug abuse, marital discord, and financial problems to seek professional assistance. This policy establishes an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for employees of the University. Joint responsibility of the program is shared by the Department of Human Resources and Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

I. Purpose

The University recognizes that employees experiencing personal problems, including emotional illness, alcohol or drug abuse, marital discord, or financial problems should be encouraged to seek professional assistance since such problems often result in human suffering for employees and their families. In addition, personal problems of this nature impair work performance and often affect fellow workers.  The University realizes that with early intervention and proper support, most employees can effectively be assisted and can become able to function fully at work and at home. As a result, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has established an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for its employees. 

II. Administration

Administration of the EAP program is the joint responsibility of the UNC Charlotte Department of Human Resources and ComPsych GuidanceResources®, a behavioral health organization. The Department of Human Resources will promote the resources available among staff and faculty members, train supervisors in effective utilization of EAP referrals, and ensure that the EAP is administered according to policy and procedures consistent with the State Personnel Act. ComPsych GuidanceResources® will provide assessment and referral services for all EAP participants, gather utilization data, and consult with the Department of Human Resources on EAP training activities.

The EAP is a diagnostic and referral service provided to UNC Charlotte permanent staff and faculty free of charge. Spouses and dependents of faculty and staff members may also utilize the EAP free of charge.

III. Voluntary Participation

Participation in the EAP services provided under this program is voluntary and are considered confidential. The nature and content of services provided to individual employees will not become part of an employee's Personnel File.

Employees may be encouraged to participate in the EAP by a supervisor who has observed and possibly documented specific instances of poor work performance and/or inappropriate or unusual behavior in the workplace.  All information regarding such participation will be considered confidential and will not be released without the employee’s written consent.

Employees who participate in EAP services will generally be subject to the same performance standards that existed prior to EAP involvement.

IV. Directed Referrals

An employee may be directed to meet with a counselor as a result of a specific disciplinary action. In such cases, this referral must be approved by and coordinated with the Employee Relations unit of the Human Resources Department. The employee will be required to submit documentation regarding the meeting with a counselor to the Department of Human Resources where the record will be maintained separate from the employee’s personnel file. Examples of documentation required include verification of the meeting, information regarding compliance with recommended treatment plans, recommendations to help resolve workplace issues, etc. All other information regarding the meeting with the counselor will be considered confidential and will not be released without the employee’s written consent.

If an employee chooses to disregard a referral for counseling that was directed by their supervisor,  and communicated to them by a representative of the Human Resources Department, the employee may be subject to further disciplinary action, up to and including separation from employment..

V. Program Benefits

The University wants to encourage employees with personal problems to seek assistance. Therefore, with supervisory approval, employees may schedule EAP appointments during work time. However, if they choose to do so on their own time, faculty and staff employees may access the services of ComPsych GuidanceResources® directly without informing their supervisor.

The EAP offers up to five in-person counseling sessions for each issue that may be impairing work performance and/or causing inappropriate or unusual behavior in the workplace. If additional resources are needed to address the issue, the additional care may be covered by the employee’s medical plan. For extended treatment or service, the employee will be referred to local community agencies, hospitals, clinics or private practitioners. The EAP will endeavor to facilitate an effective link with such outside service providers.  ComPsych GuidanceResources® also offers web based and telephonic services which include legal and financial assistance.

VI. Employee Responsibility

The University expects employees to assume responsibility for the treatment and/or remediation of personal problems. Upon referral by the EAP for treatment at an appropriate community agency, the employee should make appropriate use of leave time (e.g., sick leave, vacation, leave without pay) as necessary.  The University Benefits Office is available to assist employees exploring leave options. 

The University will not assume any financial responsibility for employee treatment beyond the existing terms of the employee's health insurance coverage.

It is the responsibility of all supervisory personnel to assure that an employee's participation in EAP services will not jeopardize that person's job security or promotional opportunities.

VII. Contact Information

ComPsych GuidanceResources  can be reached at 1-877‑603‑8259 (TDD: 800‑697‑0353) or online at www.guidanceresources.com (Web ID: UNC Charlotte).  The Employee Relations Unit in the Human Resources Department may be contacted for additional information.

Revision History: 
  • Initially approved December 15, 1980
  • Revised February 16, 1987
  • Revised October 2, 1989
  • Revised October 4, 1993
  • Revised May 30, 2005
  • Revised March 15, 2007
  • Updated May 10, 2012
  • Revised June 27, 2012