942 Program Elements

942.1 Education

EAP counselors and subcontract counselors must provide information, training, or both periodically for all Postal Service employees to inform them about EAP services and the kinds of personal problems that can affect job performance or conduct.

942.2 Problem Identification, Referrals, and Evaluation

942.21 Patterns of Behavior and Work Performance Problems

Certain patterns of behavior and/or work performance can be indicative of problems affecting an employee. Deterioration in attendance, appearance, conduct, ability, or any combination of these factors may signal that the employee is experiencing a personal problem that may affect his or her job performance. These problems may include depression, anxiety, gambling, emotional stress, and marital problems as well as substance abuse, dependence, or other addictions.

942.22 Referrals to EAP
942.221 Management Referrals

If a supervisor or manager observes any of the patterns listed in 942.21 or has some other reason to believe that the EAP could provide needed assistance to an employee, he or she may refer the employee to the EAP. Since participation is voluntary, the employee has the option to refuse the referral and cannot be disciplined for noncompliance.

Exception: If an employee has signed a Last Chance or Settlement Agreement that requires EAP participation, the employee can be disciplined for noncompliance under the terms of the agreement.

942.222 Referrals From Others

Fellow employees, union representatives, management association representatives, medical personnel, family members, or judicial and social service agencies may refer employees to the EAP. However, if any of these suggest or recommend that the employee seek EAP assistance, participation is always voluntary.

942.223 Self-Referrals

Employees who want help with any personal problem or concern are encouraged to seek assistance directly by personally contacting the EAP.

942.224 EAP Response

The following requirements apply:

  1. EAP counselors must accept all referrals.
  2. Face-to-face or telephone interview appointments must be available within a reasonable period from the time the request is made by the employee or family member.
  3. Face-to-face and telephone appointments for urgent situations must be made consistent with need, regardless of the counselor’s regularly scheduled hours.
  4. Crisis counseling must be available by telephone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
942.23 Problem Evaluation

EAP counseling staff provides assessment services and arranges counseling for employees or family members or refers them to appropriate treatment resources.

942.3 Recovery Counseling and Resources

942.31 EAP Counseling Sites

EAP sites are staffed by EAP professionals trained to provide assessment, short-term counseling, and referral services to individuals who seek their assistance. Postal Service EAP sites are not equipped to provide detoxification or drug rehabilitation assistance, but they can make referrals to outside programs and treatment facilities for these problems. To provide convenient, ready access to EAP counseling services for all Postal Service employees and their family members, a network of similarly qualified and capable affiliate counselors is available to provide EAP counseling services at other locations.

942.32 Residential and Community Resources

EAP counseling service providers:

  1. Maintain information about a variety of outside programs, treatment facilities, and resources available to employees and family members.
  2. Provide assistance with initial arrangements and appointments.

The cost of these programs or treatment facilities is borne by the employee or by the employee’s health insurance (pursuant to terms of the policy). In cases for which hospitalization or detoxification is recommended, the employee is responsible for requesting sick leave, leave without pay, annual leave, or advanced sick leave.

942.4 Follow-Up

942.41 Progress

If a manager or a supervisor has referred an employee to EAP counseling because of a job performance problem, that manager or supervisor shall continue to monitor the employee’s job performance.

942.42 Discontinuance of Participation

Whether an employee opts to continue or discontinue participation in EAP counseling, he or she is responsible for maintaining prescribed job performance standards.

942.43 Return to Work

If an employee is on leave from the Postal Service to participate in an outside rehabilitative program for mental health or substance abuse issues, the EAP counselor may, upon the employee’s request and authorization, monitor the course of rehabilitation and assist in any contemplated return to work.

942.5 Program Evaluation

The EAP must be evaluated annually or more often, as needed. The purpose of these evaluations is to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of the program and to ensure that it is operating within established policy.