The mandated referral is a way for employers to insure that an employee uses the employee assistance program. This usually happens when observations about the employee's work performance point to a need for further investigation and/or assessment, or when a drug-free workplace rule has been violated.
While most EAP services are based on confidential self-referral from the employee, an employer's toughest problem may come from an employee who is unwilling or unable to address a problem on their own. EAP mandated referrals are extremely successful when balanced between genuine care for the individual and holding the employee accountable for acceptable job performance and acceptable workplace behavior. Having this service in place allows the organization to make an effective, humane intervention that may save a valuable employee, without the employer intruding into their personal life.
Employees should be aware of their rights should they be mandated to see the employee assistance program. First, no information can be given to the employer without consent, which is given by signing a release form. This includes letting the employer know that you have called. The release form lists the subjects that may be shared with your employer which include facts such as:
- Confirmation or denial of an appointment with an ESN counselor.
- Existence or non-existence of a personal or health problem (but not the nature of the problem) for which help is recommended.
- Cooperation with recommended attendance at ESN counseling sessions or recommended treatment at an outside facility.
- Acceptance or rejection of the offer of help. Motivation towards improvement.
- Prognosis for change in workplace behavior.
- If applicable, required time away from work.
- If applicable, earliest anticipated return to work.
Employees have the right to cancel the consent in writing at any time, and such cancellations will not affect disclosures previously made. If you have questions about the mandated referral or your rights, please contact Employee Support Network. Your questions can be answered in confidence.