Policies and Procedures Manual
I. Policy Statement
The FIT/UCE Employee Assistance Program (EAP) addresses personal issues which may affect an individual employee's ability to function on the job. These issues include personal or job-related stress, family or marital issues, legal or financial difficulties, alcohol/drug abuse, and other behavioral/medical issues. The basic purpose of the program is to help employees with these issues in order to improve their personal productivity, their relations with their families, their unions, their employer, and the public they serve.
FIT and the UCE recognize that these issues can be dealt with effectively through appropriate professional assistance. Helping employees who are motivated to resolve their issues is in the best interests of both employees and employers. An effective program will result in greater employee productivity. Therefore, an Employee Assistance Program developed and administered by the UCE and the Administration of FIT benefits all employees.
The EAP consists of equal representation from labor and management. The main objective
of the EAP is to help employees preserve their physical and emotional health in order
to insure their continued usefulness to themselves, their families, and their employers.
The goal of the program is to assist employees in resolving personal issues that impact
job performance, motivate the employee to seek help, and direct the employee toward
the best assistance possible.
II. Structure of the EAP Committee
An EAP committee is established with equal representation from management and labor to implement this policy. Committee members are appointed by the President of the College (three administrative representatives) and the President of the Union (three union representatives).
Committee representatives from both labor and management should have sufficient authority so that committee decisions will most likely be acceptable to the union and management. It is difficult for a committee to function under the apprehension of having its work vetoed by a higher authority. The members should be knowledgeable about the thinking and philosophy of the faction they represent. They should be respected members of that faction who have designated them to serve to resolve a problem that affects people in all ranks. The Committee should not be a grievance or negotiation committee in disguise. People who may be objectionable to either side should not be asked to serve.
It should be clearly understood that the Committee functions in a promotional and supervisory capacity. Committee members are not involved in any activities of the program requiring direct involvement with employees who come for help. In order to insure total confidentiality, not even committee members should be aware of individuals who are using the program. The Committee should consist of six members, with the EAP Coordinator participating in meetings on a non-voting, regular basis.
Role and Responsibilities of the EAP Committee
A. Select the EAP Coordinator and EAP Counselor
1. The EAP Committee selects and dismisses, if necessary, the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor by a majority vote and makes a recommendation to the President of the College and the President of the Union for its approval.
2. Characteristics that a committee must consider when selecting the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor:
- commitment to program ideals
- interest in the general welfare of the employees
- ability in planning and organizing
- ability to communicate with people on a personal level
- public speaking ability
- not being associated with a group or cause unacceptable to management, labor, or employees (neutrality)
- interest in the community, its services, and its resources
- traits of reliability, stability, open-mindedness, and discretion
- ability to maintain confidentiality
- good interpersonal skills
- history of productive relationships with co-workers
- skills as a good listener and interviewer
- flexibility of available time
B. Secure a private setting for the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor to see referred employees. The location should have a secure area for a private voicemail system and locked file cabinets. The EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor are the only ones who have access to the private voice mail system and file cabinets.
C. Support the neutral, confidential role of the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor in all matters pertaining to the delivery of client services. Committee members are not privy to client information other than statistics or referral resources.
D. Interface with administration and/or Union in meeting needs of the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor for the number of hours to be worked or release time, administrative issues, travel allowances, work performance evaluation, and office space. Determining EAP Coordinator Time Arrangements:
1. It is the responsibility of the Committee to assess the needs of the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor, including the time considerations or release time, if necessary, and make recommendations to the President of FIT and the President of UCE.
2. Provisions should be made for:
- the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor's information and referral services
- local committee meetings
- professional development
3. Time allotment is to include provision for interviewing, paperwork and telephone commitments, promotional activities, resource development follow-up, and other functions deemed necessary by the Committee.
E. Annially evaluate the work performance of the EAP Coordinator. Review effectiveness of the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor to ensure that satisfactory referral and follow-up services are maintained through quarterly and annual reports to the Committee.
F. Approve training requests of the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor.
G. Review statistical reports in a timely manner. Review the program's functioning and establish a base of statistical information to evaluate the EAP. This procedure is designed to elicit aggregate data only for the purpose of planning and evaluation.
H. Ensure that all policies and procedures of the EAP are adhered to.
I. Ensure the neutrality of the EAP in all matters that pertain to this program.
J. Ensure that uniformity is maintained in conducting the program across all employee levels.
K. The chairperson position is selected by the EAP Committee members. Responsibilities of Chairperson:
- facilitate EAP meetings;
- prepare and circulate agenda for committee meetings;
- keep open lines of communication with the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor;
- complete work performance evaluations.
L. Responsibilities of the Co-Chair:
- approve timesheets;
- approve budget expenditures.
III. EAP Coordinator
- The program EAP Coordinator serves at the pleasure of the President of the College and the President of the Union upon recommendation by the EAP Committee. The EAP Committee will evaluate, on an annual basis, the work performance of the EAP Coordinator.
- Promotes and publicizes the program within FIT through distribution of materials and presentation of preventive programs. The EAP Coordinator develops mailers, newsletters, employee orientations, poster campaigns, training, etc. Prepares information for the Mental Health Monday (MHM) emails to the campus on a bi-weekly bases, except for the August summer break.
- The EAP Coordinator will present to the Committee recommendations about the needs of the program based on firsthand knowledge of the issues he or she handles.
- The EAP Coordinator is not a member of the Committee, but rather reports to the Committee for support and supervision. The EAP Coordinator will discuss the program with the EAP Committee, providing the Committee with a quarterly and annual report. Quarterly annd annual reports are also provided to the President of the college and the President of the union. Annual reports include utilization rates, trends, identification of needs and populations to reach out to i.e., part-timers, and suggestions as to methods to do this reasearch.
- The EAP Coordinator serves as a confidential referral source to employees who are experiencing personal issues. The EAP Coordinator cannot refer FIT employees to their private practices while the EAP Coordinators and the EAP Counselor are employed by FIT.
- The EAP Coordinator's primary responsibility is to interview, assess, and refer for treatment employees who seek assistance to resolve personal issues. The EAP Coordinator also serves as a referral agent, and is expected to promote the understanding and acceptance of the EAP within FIT.
- The EAP Coordinator identifies and contacts, on an on-going basis, local community, public, and private agencies/private practitioners that provide relevant services. Maintains contact with employees and agencies to ensure that referrals are appropriate, but he or she cannot become involved in ongoing treatment.
- Communication: On days where there is no coverage in the office, call in for messages and check emails and check bi-weekly weekend phone logs and email checks (alternating weekends between the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor). In addition to checking the phone messages, the EAP Coordinator should check the FIT email account frequently. It is expected that staff responds to any emails from clients in a timely manner.
- Provides HR supervisory and departmental consultations to assist and resolve employee issues.
- Provides training programs for HR, supervisors, and employees.
- Maintains policies and procedures.
- Supervises and evaluates EAP Counselor and program staff. Oversees all operations of the EAP.
- Provides insurance coverage information for referral purposes.
IV. EAP Counselor
- The EAP Counselor serves at the pleasure of the President of the College and the President of the Union upon recommendation by the EAP Committee and reports directly to the EAP Coordinator.
- Assists the EAP Coordinator in promoting and publicizing the program within FIT through the distribution of materials and presentation of preventive programs. The EAP Counselor assists the EAP Coordinator in developing mailers, newsletters, employee orientations, poster campaigns, training, etc.
- The EAP Counselor will provide the EAP Coordinator with the data necessary to maintain quarterly and annual reporting.
- The EAP Counselor serves as a confidential referral source to employees who are experiencing personal issues. The EAP Counselor cannot refer FIT employees to their private practices while the EAP Counselor is employed by FIT.
- The EAP Counselor's primary responsibility is to interview, assess, and refer for treatment employees who seek assistance to resolve personal issues. The EAP Counselor also serves as a referral agent and is expected to promote the understanding and acceptance of the EAP within the FIT.
- The EAP Counselor identifies and contacts, on an ongoing basis, local community, public, and private agencies/private practitioners that provide relevant services. Maintains contact with employees and agencies to ensure that referrals are appropriate, but he or she cannot become involved in ongoing treatment.
- Communication - On days when there is no coverage in the office, call in for messages and check emails and check bi-weekly weekend phone logs and email checks (alternating weekends between the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor). In addition to checking the phone messages, the EAP Counselor should check the FIT email account frequently. It is expected that staff responds to any emails from clients in a timely manner.
- Assists the EAP Coordinator in providing HR supervisory and departmental consultations to assist and resolve employee issues.
- Assists in providing training programs for HR, supervisors, and employees.
- Maintains policies and procedures.
- Helps maintain the operations of the EAP.
- Provides insurance coverage information for referral purposes.
V. Operation of the Program
A. All clients are considered voluntary.
B. Employee must initiate the first contact with the Employee Assistance Program unless it is determined by EAP the EAP Coordinator, the EAP Counselor that they should contact the employee.
C. Guidelines regarding supervisory involvement and prohibitions will be determined by the EAP Committee based upon legal and statewide guidelines.
D. Guidelines for the disclosure of information regarding the employee will be established by the EAP Committee based upon legal and statewide guidelines.
VI. Program Eligibilitiy and Services of the EAP
A. The EAP is an information and referral service for employees, their families and significant others. After an employee or their family member/significant other contacts the EAP, the EAP Coordinator, and the EAP Counselor will arrange an appointment to make an assessment of the issue and provide information, and a referral to an appropriate resource, if indicated. The EAP will provide information, assessments, short-term counseling (approximately 1-3 sessions), and referrals if needed.
B. The Program will provide training to supervisors to educate them about the services of the EAP; assist them in identifying and referring a troubled employee; and to provide education about substance abuse in compliance with governmental guidelines. Supervisors will be encouraged to alert the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor if they are contemplating referring an employee.
C. The Program will be available to provide consultations to supervisors to assist them in dealing with the troubled employee, with the eventual goal of getting the employee to contact the EAP directly for assistance.
D. The Program will provide employee orientations to educate employees about the services of the EAP.
E. The Program will provide workshops based upon assessment of employee's needs.
VII. Referral Procedure
Any employee, family member/significant other, can arrange a confidential appointment to see the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor by calling (212) 217-5600. Voice mail is connected 24 hours a day, and messages are retrieved daily. All efforts will be made to provide an appointment within a week of the initial phone contact. If the situation is an emergency, the employee, family member, or significant other should identify it as such.
B. Referrals to External Sources
1. Once an employee, family member, or significant other contacts the EAP, an assessment is made and appropriate referral provided if indicated.
2. Questions to be asked of potential providers will include but not be limited to their:
- licensing and certification
- treatment and approach
- malpractice information
- educational background
- professional training and experience
C. Supervisory Referrals
1. Informal Referral
If a supervisor notices that an employee is having job performance problems that are not severe enough to warrant a disciplinary memo, the supervisor can refer the employee directly to EAP. The EAP is a totally voluntary program, and it is up to the employee to decide whether he or she wants to contact the EAP.
2. Formal Referral
If a supervisor notices a persistent performance problem and has taken progressive disciplinary action, the supervisor and/or Human Resources can refer the employee to the EAP.
a. The employee who attends the EAP and follows treatment recommendations must be given a reasonable amount of time (i.e. three to six weeks) to show some improvement in job performance issues. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to continue disciplinary procedures if performance problems persist.
b. Refusal of EAP assistance does not constitute grounds for disciplinary action. On the other hand, acceptance of an EAP referral does not remove an employee's responsibility to improve work performance. Ultimately, the employee's job performance must improve whether or not they contact the EAP and whether or not they accept treatment recommendations.
c. If the employee signs a release form and a request is made by the supervisor or The Office of Human Resources and Labor Management, the only information released will be attendance and compliance with the treatment recommendations. Under no circumstances will the nature of the problem or specifics of referral be released unless otherwise required by law. No information will be released without a signed release form.
d. Supervisors will be encouraged to refer the employee to the EAP for further evaluation should job performance problems persist.
e. With signed release forms, the EAP Coordinator and the EAPCounselor will maintain contact with the treating client and/or personnel for an appropriate amount of time to ensure that the employee is receiving necessary care.
A. The EAP is a strictly confidential program. Under no circumstances, unless otherwise required by law, will any information regarding the employee be released without a signed consent form.
B. The only exceptions to confidentiality are:
- the information is required by law to be disclosed;
- there is a reasonable belief that an employee's conduct places him or her or another person in imminent threat of bodily harm;
- and/or there is reasonable cause to suspect child abuse has or will be committed.
IX. Leave of Absence
A. Any employee who contacts the EAP and subsequently is recommended for a leave of absence will follow the normal guidelines to apply for a leave. It will be the responsibility of the employee to provide appropriate medical documentation as required by the college.
B. Information relating to the specifics of the employee's treatment that is to be obtained directly from the facility or individual providing treatment. This is in compliance with federal and state confidentiality regulations.
X. Monitoring of Employee
A. Employee on Leave of Absence:
1. The EAP Coordinator or the EAP Counselor will maintain contact with the treating facility/individual to obtain pertinent treatment information and after-care recommendations to facilitate re-entry to the workforce with the ultimate goal of resolving job performance problems.
2. The EAP Coordinator or the EAP Counselor will meet with employee upon return to work to discuss aftercare planning and facilitate transition back to work and the meeting of treatment goals.
B. Supervisors will be encouraged to refer the employees to the EAP for further evaluation should job performance problems persist.
C. With signed release forms, the EAP Coordinator or the EAP Counselor will maintain contact with the treating client and/or personnel for an appropriate amount of time to ensure the employee is receiving necessary care.
XI. Time Off to See Coordinator/Counselor
A. Employees should use their lunch hour to see the EAP Coordinator or the EAP Counselor, if they do not wish to inform their supervisor that they are seeking the services of the EAP. If a lunchtime appointment is unavailable, arrangements can also be made to see the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor before or after work.
B. An employee can request to use work time to see the EAP Coordinator or the EAP Counselor and it is up to the discretion of the supervisor to give permission. If the employee signs a release form, the EAP Coordinator or the EAP Counselor can verify whether the employee kept the appointment. No other information can be given unless indicated on the signed release form.
XII. Record Keeping
A. All EAP records are totally confidential and kept in locked files to which only the EAP Coordinator or the EAP Counselor has keys.
B. No names will be kept on records to insure the utmost confidentiality. The names of employees who have utilized the EAP will be kept in a separate locked file and be cross-referenced for the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor's information.
C. Written information regarding employee will be minimal and will only be used by the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor's for assessment and statistical purposes.
D. The EAP records are separate from any other personnel records and will not be released to anyone unless a signed release form is obtained specifying which information is to be released and the time frame for which the release is valid.
XIII. EAP Coverage When Coordinator and/or Counselor are Unavailable
It is the responsibility of the EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor to obtain coverage
for the EAP when she or he is unavailable. The EAP Coordinator or the EAP Counselor
will verify the acceptability of the EAP Coordinator or the EAP Counselor's replacement
with the EAP Committee.
The EAP Coordinator and the EAP Counselor will keep quarterly and fiscal year-end statistics regarding program utilization and will submit to the EAP Committee in a timely fashion.
XV. Malpractice Insurance
FIT will purchase malpractice insurance for the EAP which will also cover the Committee
Revised as of October 2022
Dubinsky Center, Room 608D
Voicemail is connected 24 hours a day and messages are retrieved daily.
Monday and Tuesday: 9 am–5 pm
Thursday: 1–5 pm (remote only; no hours on the first Thursday of each month)
All appointments and calls are held in the strictest confidence.