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The case studies listed below represent situations where it might be very appropriate to contact the EAP for assistance:

Case Study 1:
Anne has reported to you that she has been sexually harassed by a co-worker who has been with the company over 10 years. There is no history of problems with this co-worker in the past and he has worked with women on his team for several years. She also states she hears people talking about her and thinks others are laughing because of the co-worker’s advances. When you talked to Anne about her report, she states she is fearful of writing the incident on paper for fear of retaliation with her job. She refuses to define the specific sexual incident on paper for fear of retaliation with her job. She refuses to define the specific sexual incidents and states 'I just know what he is doing.'

Case Study 2:
Les has recently declined in his interactions with co-workers. He was a leader in the past and often helped with other people in problem-solving and productivity problems. His personal hygiene has declined and he sometimes wears the same clothes for several days in a row. He shaves less often and sometimes goes for what seems to be two to three months without a haircut. He has worked with the company for 17 years and has never been written up for any problems. He has been sitting by himself in the breakroom and on one occasion you thought you heard him mumbling to himself.

Case Study 3:
You are the superior of a large group of employees. Over the last few months, you notice that two of your employees, Bob and Ed, have not been getting along. They have been calling each other names and have been raising their voices at each other. You have ignored this up until now and you are afraid one of them will harm the other. Coworkers are starting to complain that they are afraid and they can’t concentrate with the disruptions. When you try to sit them down and talk to them, they are belligerent and tell you to stay out of the situation. They tell you this has nothing to do with work and they will handle it on their own. They get up and leave your office.


Click to open the Supervisor Formal Referral Form.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available as a resource to supervisors/managers whenever an employee's job performance or attendance fails to meet company standards after initial corrective attempts. Referring employees based on unsatisfactory job performance or attendance eliminates the need for supervisors to be involved with diagnosing or counseling employees on personal or medical matters. When making a formal management referral, it is imperative that you consult with your Human Resources Representative and Employee Assistance Professional for guidance and advice during this process.

Employee Assistance is not to be used as a disciplinary action nor is it a substitute for corrective action. Whether or not an employee chooses to participate in the EAP, the employee will continue to be accountable for his/her job performance. The employee will not be exempt from the standard administrative practices applicable to job performance requirements. In certain circumstances, the supervisor/manager can make the employee's interaction with the EAP a condition of continued employment.


Most employees seen by Employee Assistance Counselors are self-referred. That is, they recognized their need for assistance and scheduled a time to discuss their situation with a trained professional. You, as a supervisor will be aware of this only if the employee shares the information. Appointments with Employee Assistance should be treated as any other professional appointment and employees should be encouraged to schedule their appointments at times that do not interfere with work.

An informal supervisory referral to the EAP generally occurs because the employee has said that he/she is having personal problems. The referral in this instance is a suggestion or recommendation only. The supervisor can give the employee a brochure for the EAP and encourage follow-through but, on an informal referral, follow-through is not a condition of employment. It will be helpful to the EAP staff if the supervisor will call to say the referral has been made and is an informal referral. The supervisor will NOT be given any information including whether or not the employee made an appointment without signed consent of the employee.

A formal referral to the EAP is job performance related. With a formal referral, making an appointment with the EAP counselor and follow-through on EAP recommendations is still voluntary but the employee should be informed that failure to restore satisfactory job performance will result in appropriate disciplinary action which could lead to termination. Making an EAP appointment and following through with the recommendations will be viewed as an attempt to improve job performance.

When making a formal referral to Employee Assistance, the supervisor should complete the Supervisors Referral Form, (available in your Human Resources Department) and have it signed by the employee. The supervisor should then instruct the employee on how to contact the EAP to schedule an appointment. Fax the Supervisor's Referral Form to 903-893-5183. When a supervisor makes a formal referral and has the employee sign the referral form giving his/her consent, the Employee Assistance counselor can inform the supervisor of the employee's status with the EAP program for up to one year from the referral. Any other information about that employee and his personal problems will be kept confidential.

The EAP and the supervisor/manager will establish a schedule of periodic contacts to communicate the status of an employee's continued compliance with EAP recommendations. If the employee independently discontinues compliance with these recommendations against the advice of the EAP, this discontinuance will be communicated to the supervisor/manager immediately.

When a manager decides to make a formal referral to the EAP, he/she should document critical and relevant information and review with the employee. This information should be captured in a written letter that includes the following:

  1. Employee's Name and Supervisor's/Manager's Name

  2. Date of referral letter

  3. Date/Time/Place of Event and Personnel involved in the precipitating incident (if applicable).

  4. Description of policy/procedure which was violated or performance requirements not met. (Cite specific personnel policy, performance requirement, previous documentation, etc.)

  5. Description of any management interaction with operating company Human Resources or Employee Relations on any existing Performance Improvement Plan that may be in effect and how this may impact an employee's return from an approved medical or administrative leave (if applicable).

  6. Description of employee's poor performance or other behavior (be specific and factual, use observed behavior or results). Refer to your company's corrective action guidelines. Describe the consequences of employee behavior (on employee's work record, on other employees, etc.).

  7. Description of management action to be taken (i.e., referral to EAP):
         - Call the Performance Plus 800 line (1-800-862-3398) first to alert them of the referral.
         - Obtain any necessary documents (Release of Information form).
         - Provide employee with the EAP phone number so that he/she can call to schedule an appointment with a counselor.

  8. Outline of expectations for desired work performance of the employee.

  9. Reasonable time frame for improvement and/or for calling the EAP.

  10. Follow up date

  11. Manager and Employee signature on the letter after it is reviewed.

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