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Frequently Asked Questions Work Life

  • An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems.  EAPs address a broad and complex body of issues affecting mental and emotional well-being, such as alcohol and other substance abuse, stress, grief, family problems, and psychological disorders.  EAP counselors also work in a consultative role with managers and supervisors to address employee and organizational challenges and needs.  Many EAPs are active in helping organizations prevent and cope with workplace violence, trauma, and other emergency response situations.  To find your agency’s EAP administrator, use the work/life contact tool is available at: http://apps.opm.gov/CCLContact/index.aspx.
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  • Each department or agency has discretion to excuse employees from their duties without loss of pay or charge to leave.  OPM advises that the granting of excused absence satisfies one or more of the following criteria: (1) the absence is directly related to the department or agency’s mission; (2) the absence is officially sponsored or sanctioned by the head of the department or agency; (3) the absence will clearly enhance the professional development or skills of the employee in his or her current position; or (4) the absence is brief and is determined to be in the interest of the agency. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of each department or agency head to balance support for employees health/wellness activities with the need to ensure that employees work requirements are fulfilled and that agency operations are conducted efficiently and effectively.

    That being said excused absence for fitness activities can vary agency to agency; therefore, you should discuss this matter with your local HR or Work/Life office for a definitive answer.  To find your agency’s work/life contacts, use the searchable database at: http://apps.opm.gov/CCLContact/index.aspx

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  • Each Federal agency administers its own Employee Assistance Program (EAP); therefore, you will need to contact your agency’s EAP administrator in order to participate.  A searchable database of agency work/life contacts is available at: http://apps.opm.gov/CCLContact/index.aspx.

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  • Section 7(r) of the FLSA (29 U.S.C. 207(r)) and OPM guidance does not require agencies to compensate employees who are granted reasonable break time for expressing milk. However, many agencies already provide employees with compensated breaks (for example, 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon) that may be used for any purpose. If an agency already provides such compensated breaks, an employee who uses that break time to express milk must be compensated in the same way that other employees are compensated for break time.

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  • The Federal Child Care Subsidy Program (FCCSP), established in 2001 by Public Law 107-67, Sec. 630, allows agencies to use appropriated and revolving funds to help lower income Federal employees pay for child care. Federal agencies choose whether or not they wish to participate, based on considerations such as budget, mission priorities, and the demographics and needs of their employee population.
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  • Executive Order 13058, "Protecting Federal Employees and the Public from Exposure to Tobacco Smoke in the Federal Workplace," bans smoking in front of air intake ducts. In the case of locations such as doorways and in courtyards, agency heads shall evaluate the need to restrict smoking in order to protect workers and visitors from environmental tobacco smoke, and may restrict smoking in these areas. In furtherance of EO13058, smoking is banned in courtyards and within 25 feet of doorways on GSA-controlled properties.
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  • Most Federal agencies have wellness programs and plans in action.  We recommend you contact your agency’s work/life headquarters office, as they may have resources and programs available for you.  To find your agency’s work/life contacts, use the searchable database at: http://apps.opm.gov/CCLContact/index.aspx.

    For further information about wellness program development, please review our guide at:  http://www.opm.gov/Employment_and_Benefits/WorkLife/OfficialDocuments/HandbooksGuides/EmployeeHandbook/index.asp.

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  • 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.

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  • Centers managed by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) are required to have a tuition-assistance program.  Employees of Federal agencies and members of the U.S. military may also qualify for federal tuition subsidies based on income. 

    Click on the appropriate category below to be taken to more information about specific tuition assistance opportunities.

    U.S. Army
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    Federal Employees/U.S. Military 
    Coast Guard

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  • Executive Order 13058, "Protecting Federal Employees and the Public from Exposure to Tobacco Smoke in the Federal Workplace," bans smoking in all Executive Branch facilities, all interior space owned, rented, or leased space by the Executive Branch of the Federal government.  There are certain excepted spaces, which include:

    1. designated smoking areas. However, effective June 19, 2009, designated smoking areas in GSA-controlled buildings will be eliminated.
    2. residential accommodations in buildings owned, leased, rented by the Federal government;
    3. portions of Federally-owned buildings leased, rented, or otherwise provided (in their entirety) to non-federal parties; and
    4. places of employment in the private sector or in other non-federal governmental units that serve as the permanent or intermittent duty station of one or more Federal employees.
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