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Valley City State University recognizes that some employees may have a wide range of personal problems that may adversely affect their job performance. It is also recognized that most personal problems can be dealt with successfully when identified early and referred for appropriate care. The purpose of the Employee Assistance Program is to provide these services leading to appropriate care.

The Employee Assistance Program is designed to deal with a broad spectrum of human problems, such as personal problems, interpersonal problems, financial concerns, problems with addiction, parent/child conflict, marital problems, and other concerns. Most employees may overcome personal problems without professional assistance, but at times, professional counseling and/or referral to appropriate community agencies may be beneficial. The Employee Assistance Program is provided through a joint venture between St. Alexius Medical Center and the Heartview Foundation. The Program provides problem assessment and short-term counseling, not to exceed eight sessions, and referral to community resources when deemed appropriate.

The cost for assessment, short-term counseling, and referral is covered by Valley City State University. If costs are incurred for other services that are not covered by Valley City State University or other benefits, those costs will be the responsibility of the employee. Employees will be given prompt, careful, confidential consideration.

Below are the guidelines for utilizing the Employee Assistance Program:
  • Valley City State University is concerned with an employee's personal problem when the problem adversely affects job performance.
  • The Employee Assistance Program extends to each employee, regardless of job title or responsibility.
  • Since problems at home can affect job performance, the Employee Assistance Program is also available to each employee's immediate family on a self-referral basis. If an employee or immediate family member has personal problems that may benefit from assistance, the employee or immediate family member is encouraged to use the program. Immediate family is defined as spouse and/or children living in the same household as the employee. Dependent children living outside the home, i.e., college students, will be given consideration for EAP services. Children under age 18 will be provided an initial assessment by phone, however, will be required to have parental permission to receive EAP services beyond the initial phone contact.
  • Should a performance problem occur at work, employees may be encouraged to seek assistance to determine if personal problems are causing unsatisfactory job performance. Supervisors will not be able to insist that the employee seek Employee Assistance Program assistance. If performance problems are corrected, no further action will be taken. If performance problems persist, the employee will be subject to the normal progressive discipline procedures.
  • All employees are responsible for using this program, when appropriate, to assist in resolving job performance deficiencies related to personal problems. Supervisors and administrative representatives will be given a comprehensive orientation session. The session will identify the goals and objectives of the Employee Assistance Program. Also, the mechanism for referring employees for services through the Employee Assistance Program will be explained. Employees will receive a general orientation session to provide information regarding the Employee Assistance Program. This information will provide an overview of what services are available and how to make use of those services.
  • When an employee voluntarily comes for assistance, no contact is made with the supervisor. When the employee comes for services at the request or referral of a supervisor, there will be a follow-up contact with the referring supervisor which will discuss whether the employee came for the appointment and whether the employee is following general recommendations relating to treatment/follow-up services.
  • Participation in the program will not jeopardize an employee's job security or promotional opportunities.
  • All records and discussions of the personal problem will be handled in a confidential manner. These records will be considered as EAP records and will be maintained by the EAP at St. Alexius Medical Center. Records maintained by the EAP are not part of the St. Alexius or Heartview patient medical records. They will not be released without the expressed, written consent of the employee. These records will not become a part of the employee personnel file.
  • Employees and members of their immediate families will receive an assessment and up to seven additional counseling sessions for further assessment, evaluation, or treatment of that problem. During the contract period, employees and members of their immediate families may experience multiple problems for which assessment, evaluation, or treatment by the program may be appropriate. Under the provisions of this program, an eligible employee and/or member of his/her immediate family would receive additional services from the program providing the new problem is not related to a situation for which services have already been received. The employee and/o family member will receive an assessment of their new problem and up to five additional sessions. The EAP will not provide duplicate services for employees when covered under other contracts for EAP services with St. Alexius/Heartview EAP. The EAP shall not provide counseling to employees based upon a multiple o the number of individuals in an employee's immediate family.

    Depending on the type of problem experienced, a referral to a community agency or resource may be the most appropriate service provided.
  • Where necessary, leave will be granted in accordance with established procedure. If a supervisor refers an individual based on performance concerns or an employee requests of the supervisor to be referred, sick leave will be granted.
  • The employee may request that his/her supervisor attend counseling sessions with the employee.
Sponsored by: Vice President for Business Affairs
Revised: Spring 2004