SUPERCEDED Ohio University Policy and Procedure

Employee Assistance Program

SUPERCEDED on November 19, 2007

Current Version

Procedure No.:   41.130

Page No.:        1,2,3 and 4 of 4

Date Issued:     03/15/82

Issued By:       G. Peebles

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One of the principle and ongoing goals of personnel administration at Ohio University is to stimulate high employee productivity in an atmosphere of positive relationships between supervisors and staff. Productivity is a mutual goal and obligation of both the University and its staff: the University must create and maintain an accommodating working environment and the employee must perform responsibly within the context of his or her position description and assigned tasks.

Competence and a high standard of performance are, therefore, expectations around which personnel policies are developed and implemented. When those expectations are seriously eroded by substandard productivity or performance, strong disciplinary action may be necessary and appropriate.

In certain instances, however, other remedial or helpful intervention may be indicated and, as an educational institution, Ohio University is committed to providing assistance whenever possible.

The Employee Assistance Program is designed to assist employees whose performance has been adversely affected by circumstances not resolved through normal procedures. The program is in no way a substitute for other appropriate procedures or personnel actions but is, rather, a method by which valued employees may be helped to continue as productive and contributing members of the University community.


To provide an employee service designed to assist faculty, administrative and civil service employees in solving a wide range of problems which are not directly related with one's job function but have an effect on the employee's job performance.


Ohio University believes it is in the best interest of employees and the University to provide an employee service which may deal with such interfering problems. This policy in no way is intended to replace appropriate discipline procedures:

  1. The University recognizes that a problem is more likely to be successfully treated provided it is identified in its early stages and referral is made to an appropriate resource or care facility. This applies whether the problem be one of physical illness, mental or emotional illness, finances, marital or family distress, alcoholism, drug abuse, legal problems or other concerns.

  2. When an employee's job performance and/or attendance is unsatisfactory and the employee is unable or unwilling to correct the situation either alone or with normal supervisory assistance, the supervisor and/or employee should seek additional assistance.

    Supervisor for the purposes of this policy means any individual having the authority in the interest of the University to hire, transfer, suspend, lay-off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward or discipline other employees, or responsibility to direct them or to adjust their grievances or effectively to recommend such action.

    [Here begins page 2 of the hardcopy version.]

  3. The underlying purpose of this policy is to inform employees that if such interfering problems are the cause of unsatisfactory job performance and/or attendance, they may receive consideration and an offer of appropriate referral for help to resolve such problems in an effective and confidential manner.

  4. Employees' problems causing unsatisfactory job performance and/or attendance will be handled within the University's established health and personnel administrative procedure and all records will be preserved in strict confidence.

  5. Consideration may be given for the use of sick leave, personal leave, disability leave and medical leave in accordance with appropriate University policies and procedures for treatment and/or rehabilitation, for problems interfering with satisfactory job performance and/or attendance.

  6. Employees who have a problem which affects performance are encouraged to voluntarily seek counseling and information on a confidential basis by contacting the Employee Assistance Program.

  7. Employees referred to the program by their supervisor may be required by the University to secure services as deemed necessary to resolve their problems in order to continue employment. Medical service costs may be covered in whole, or in part, under the University's group insurance plan.

  8. It will be the responsibility of the employee to comply with the referral for evaluation of the problem and to cooperate with service providers. If an employee refuses to accept the conditions of the referral agent and, if job performance and/or attendance remain unacceptable, the employee will be subject to established University policies and procedures.

  9. Since employee work performance can be affected by the problems of an employee's spouse or other dependents, the services of the program may be made available to the families of employees at the discretion of the program coordinator.


The Employee Assistance Program consists of four phases as follows:

  1. Identification by the supervisor of a continuous job performance and/or attendance problem.

  2. Referral by the supervisor of the employee to the Employee Assistance Program.

  3. Referral to the appropriate resource.
  4. Obtains follow-up on job performance from supervisor.

[Here begins page 3 of the hardcopy version.]

The procedure for implementing the policy is as follows:

  1. An employee's unsatisfactory job performance and/or attendance will be called to his/her attention per the regular procedure by the supervisor.

  2. Continuation of unsatisfactory job performance and/or attendance will be discussed privately with the employee by the supervisor.

  3. The supervisor will document job performance and/or attendance problems. If it appears that the employee cannot or will not improve performance and/or attendance, the employee should be referred by the supervisor to the Employee Assistance Program.

  4. The employee will be referred to whatever assistance agency is necessary to resolve the problem.

  5. If the employee accepts or refuses the offer of help but the job performance and/or attendance problem improves to a satisfactory level, further assistance is at the discretion of the employee and the program coordinator.

  6. If the employee accepts or refuses the offer of help but the job performance and/or attendance problem continue, the supervisor may apply the appropriate personnel procedures.

  7. Referral to the Employee Assistance Program by any person other than the supervisor will be considered on an individual case basis.

Supervisor's Responsibility

In handling these cases the supervisor must scrupulously avoid making a diagnosis which requires professional expertise or telling the employee what he/she thinks is the cause of the job performance and/or attendance problem. The primary function of the supervisor is to note any deterioration or alteration in an employee's job performance and/o] attendance.

When it has become apparent that the employee is either unwilling or unable to resolve the job performance and/or attendance problem and the employee does not respond to normal supervision, the supervisor may refer the employee to the Employee Assistance Program. The supervisor will explain to the employee that: (1) the cause of the problem is not the business of the supervisor and confidentiality of the referral will be maintained; (2) the reason for the referral is that the supervisor does not want to lose the services of the employee.

Employee Assistance Program records shall be confidential and released only upon written authorization of the employee.

[Here begins page 4 of the hardcopy version.]

The supervisor, in conjunction with his/her supervisor and, if appropriate, the Personnel Department, shall have the responsibility to recommend action with regard to the employee's job status to the appropriate University authority. The Functions of consultants, care facility personnel, the Employee Assistance Program, etc. are purely advisory.

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Kathy Llewellyn revised this file ( on April 18, 2000.

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