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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.
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:
There is no cost to employees who receive counseling and other services provided by the agency's EAP. Costs for outside treatment and professional services, which can result in personal expense, may be covered by your Federal Employee Health Benefits plan or private insurance. The EAP counselor will work with you to identify the best available outside treatment program and services in line with your individual finances.
Federal employees interested in participating in the Child Care Subsidy program should contact their agency’s Child Care Subsidy Point of Contact (POC).
Employees must submit an application form and be prepared to provide copies of their recent pay stubs and/or latest IRS tax submissions. If a family receives local and/or State child care subsidies, they must indicate the source and the amount on their application.
Beginning in plan year 2011, all FEHB plans must cover four tobacco cessation counseling sessions of at least 30 minutes for at least two quit attempts per year. This includes proactive telephone counseling, group counseling and individual counseling, and all 7 Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved tobacco cessation medications with a doctor's prescription. These benefits must be provided with no copayments or coinsurance and not subject to deductibles, annual or life time dollar limits.
Also, your agency may offer an internal tobacco cessation program for its employees. You agency’s work/life coordinator(s) will be able to provide you with information on any programs offered. To find your agency’s work/life contacts, use the searchable database at: http://apps.opm.gov/CCLContact/index.aspx.
No. A space temporarily created or converted into a space for expressing milk or made available when needed by the nursing mother is sufficient, provided that the space is shielded from view and free from any intrusion from co-workers and the public. The location provided must be functional as a space for expressing breast milk. If the space is not dedicated to the nursing mother's use, it must be available when needed in order to meet the requirement in the law and OPM guidance. Of course, agencies may choose to create permanent, dedicated space if they determine that is the best way to meet this requirement.
In order to be functional, the space must be clean and include a shelf and seat. However, agencies may provide nursing mothers with a wide array of other amenities, such as an electrical outlet, close proximity to running water, a refrigerator, a hospital-grade breast pump, attachment kits, and other helpful tools.
Consistent with the requirements of section 7(r) of the FLSA, Federal agencies should provide a reasonable amount of break time and a space to express milk as frequently as needed by the nursing mother, for up to 1 year following the birth of the employee's child. The frequency of breaks needed to express breast milk as well as the duration of each break will likely vary. The space provided by the agency cannot be a bathroom, and it must be shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers or the public.
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