If you don’t have an EAP or are considering a change, this list will serve as a handy checklist of the services necessary to minimize lost-time, disability, work absence and liability. And if you already have an EAP, check to see if you are maximizing the benefits and taking full advantage of all available programs. Compare your EAP’s menu of services to this checklist of best practices to ensure that you have an adequate program to trim your productivity losses and lower your disability and workers’ compensation risk.

  • 24 hour, 365 day per year direct access to counseling and referrals by masters and doctoral level professional counselors via a toll-free telephonic service
  • A countrywide network of professional counselors who are readily accessible within minutes of your employees’ homes and job sites.
  • Between three and six cost-free outpatient visits per distinct presenting problem.
  • Cost-free coverage that extends to members of the immediate family, life partners, and dependent children up to 23 years of age.
  • Drug-free workplace programs that include components for both supervisors and employees, and that include awareness programs, consultation, and supervisor training.
  • Legal consultations for any legal issues unrelated to work.
  • Financial counseling including debt restructuring, credit problems, and financial and retirement planning.
  • A work-life component that addresses childcare, eldercare, and other family challenges that can affect job performance and productivity.
  • Supervisory trainings in compliance issues such as EEOC rules, workplace sexual harassment, workplace violence prevention, etc.
  • On-line trainings and compliance information for supervisors.
  • On-line information and help for employee members.
  • Crisis management programs that include workplace violence awareness and prevention training.
  • On-site post-traumatic stress assistance and debriefings.
  • Monthly statistical utilization reports.
  • Employee awareness materials, including initial orientation materials, website access, and monthly EAP newsletters.
  • An administrative referral process for effectively correcting job-related behaviors.
  • Supervisory consultations to discuss the best practice approaches to employee behaviors and group dynamics.
  • A “hold harmless” clause that completely shields the employer from any and all charges stemming from EAP actions or referrals.
  • A comprehensive quality assurance program.
  • Privacy and confidentiality standards, including compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

In evaluating prospective firms, it’s also important to:

  • Check the credentials and experience of principals and professional staff. Are the counselors trained and credentialed? Do they hold advanced degrees?
  • Make sure that experienced counselors will be staffing the phone line and accessible.
  • Check the knowledge and experience specifically related to workers compensation and disability issues.
  • Learn the scope of the program’s network — what services will be provided directly by staff (internal) versus services contracted to outside firms?
  • Ask for references from current clients and check for any satisfaction surveys. Ask about client retention rates.

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