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Frequently Asked Questions Work Life

I'm afraid that if I go to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for help, my supervisor will find out. Can this happen?

Information about your discussions with the EAP cannot be disclosed without your permission. There are regulations (42 CFR Part 2) that require confidentiality, and they provide penalties for unlawful or unauthorized release of information. 

However, there may be instances where it will be in an employee's best interests to sign a release of information, e.g., when an employee is seeking accommodation for a certain physical or emotional problem. Another example might be when an employee is involved in a potential disciplinary situation and wishes to show management his or her sincerity in seeking assistance with the problem. Based on this information regarding an employee's involvement in the EAP, a supervisor might decide to hold any disciplinary action in abeyance pending a positive change in the employee's performance or conduct.

Under 42 CFR Part 2, any instances of suspected child abuse and neglect must be reported to appropriate State or local authorities. Also, when a client commits, or threatens to commit, a crime that would harm someone else or cause substantial property damage, law enforcement personnel must be informed.

More information about confidentiality and EAPs can be found at: http://www.opm.gov/Employment_and_Benefits/WorkLife/OfficialDocuments/HandbooksGuides/Confidentiality_EAP/index.asp.

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