Chapter 23 – UI Employee Assistance Program
The UI Employee Assistance Program (UI EAP) provides confidential counseling and referral services to faculty, staff, and their family members to promote emotional well-being and to increase engagement and productivity among members of our UI community. The types of problems for which a client could expect assistance include: job stress and conflicts, relationship and personal issues, family and parenting concerns, sleep difficulties, alcohol dependency, other addictions, and managing financial well-being, as well as many other concerns.
The University of Iowa Employee Assistance Program offers the following services:
- Brief, confidential counseling: The program provides up to four free sessions a year for a wide range of personal and work-related concerns. Clients who could benefit from additional services are referred to other University, community, regional, or national service providers. If there are fees for these additional services, the client assumes responsibility for payment. See https://hr.uiowa.edu/uieap/counseling.
- Information and referral: UI EAP strives to maintain an extensive network of additional referral resources and general information. If assessment reveals that more than brief counseling services are needed to resolve the client’s problems, UI EAP can assist with identifying an ongoing provider or appropriate resource.
- Supervisory consultation: UI EAP provides consultation to supervisors, leaders, and Human Resources Representatives as they address behavioral health needs of faculty and staff. Supervisors may contact a counselor simply to discuss their observations and concerns; to explore options with an understanding, nonjudgmental third party; and to seek specific advice in planning a constructive approach to solve or cope with a problem situation. See https://hr.uiowa.edu/uieap/referrals.
For concerns about violence-related behaviors, please see the Threat Assessment Program at https://hr.uiowa.edu/tat.
- Educational and prevention programming: UI EAP staff offers educational opportunities to enhance engagement and productivity and to help ensure a safe and respectful work environment. EAP offer programs on sleep, resilience, substance abuse, and suicide prevention. To schedule a program, contact the UI Employee Assistance Program, 121-50 University Services Building.
When a supervisor has a concern about the emotional well-being of an employee, the supervisor is encouraged to provide the employee with information about the resources that are available to assist the troubled employee, along with UI EAP contact information. The supervisor may assist with the scheduling of an appointment if the employee is present and requests assistance.
- Good faith. Supervisory referrals should be made in good faith to provide assistance to a troubled employee and must be based upon fair and reasonable observation and evaluation of the employee in question. If disciplinary action is indicated, such action should also be taken. Referral to UI EAP is not a substitute for performance management.
- Voluntary participation. Participation in UI EAP is entirely voluntary. A supervisor may suggest UI EAP as a resource for an employee, but may not refer an employee as a condition of continued employment.
- Confidential. All visits with the UI EAP counselors are confidential. With the client’s written release, the UI EAP counselor can notify the supervisor that the employee followed through on the referral. No other information is released unless the employee requests and signs consents to do so.
The UI Employee Assistance Program adheres to strict ethical guidelines pertaining to client confidentiality. It is, however, necessary to recognize that the state's mandatory reporter law provides for exceptions to this rule in particular situations. For example, an Employee Assistance Program counselor is required by law to report child and dependent adult abuse, and to take action if a client poses clear and imminent danger to self and/or others, or in the case of a subpoena or court order.
An employee's participation in the UI EAP shall not jeopardize job security or promotion, tenure, or scholarly opportunities. Employees participating in the program will expect no special privileges or exemptions from University regulations.
The UI EAP is wholly independent of University disciplinary proceedings. The program is nonpunitive and employee participation is entirely voluntary. Employees are protected from retaliation for participating.
Employees may request release time from work for the initial UI EAP evaluation appointment. For subsequent appointments, employees may use available sick leave or vacation time as provided for in III-22.3 and III-23.2. Employees scheduled to work the third shift may schedule appointments during regular UI EAP office hours. Appointments may be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be no charge for assistance offered through the UI EAP. When the employee pursues a referral recommended by the UI EAP counselor, he or she is responsible for fees which may be charged by the service provider to whom he or she was referred. In cases of medical necessity, health insurance often provides some coverage. Employees are not eligible for overtime pay when attending UI EAP appointments.
These categories of regular full-time and part-time (50 percent or more) staff members are eligible for services provided by UI EAP:
- Professional and scientific staff,
- Merit system staff,
- Immediate family members (spouse, domestic partner, dependent children) of eligible University of Iowa employees, who may or may not be employed by the University.
Services are provided to the above-listed employees 90 days beyond their last date of employment with the University to include if the employee has been terminated.