UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center Policy Statement

collage policy statementSummary:
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is committed to the health, safety, and welfare of its employees, members of their immediate households, and the constituency that UAB serves. UAB recognizes that personal problems, including but not limited to, depression, grief, financial, addictions, stress, relationship, and family problems may affect any employee in our workforce. UAB further recognizes that such problems may adversely affect the ability of an employee to satisfactorily perform his/her job. This policy establishes that UAB has created the UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center, an employee assistance and confidential counseling service, to demonstrate its concern for and support of employees experiencing personal problems.

Purpose:
UAB recognizes that employees experiencing personal problems, including those listed in the summary above should be made aware of the services offered and given an opportunity to seek professional assistance since such problems frequently result in significant distress and/or hardship for its employees, and members of their immediate households. UAB understands that personal problems may result in impairing an employee’s work performance and therefore adversely affect fellow workers. UAB believes that with early intervention and appropriate support, most employees can effectively be assisted and can be restored to functioning fully at work and at home. To accomplish these goals UAB has established the UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center, an employee assistance and confidential counseling program.

Administration:
Administration of the UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center is the responsibility of the Director of the UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center. The UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center is a department of UAB Human Resources. The UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center will operate according to UAB Policy and Procedures, State and Federal Law, and applicable ethical and professional standards for clinical and administrative staff.

The UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center is an assessment, counseling, referral and educational benefit provided by UAB at no cost to UAB, UAB Medicine, and Viva employees and members of their immediate households.

The staff of the UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center will promote the services and resources that it offers to faculty and staff members by providing; training of supervisors in effective utilization of the services of the Employee Assistance and Counseling Center, providing assessment and referral services for all UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center participants, gathering non-identifying statistical utilization data for the purpose of assuring and improving the quality of its services, and by providing programming that promotes healthy work/life integration.

Program Participation:
All information regarding an employee’s meeting with a UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center counselor will be confidential and will not be released without the employee’s specific written consent unless otherwise required by law.

An employee’s participation in the UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center will not jeopardize that individual’s job security and/or promotion opportunities.

Self Referrals
Employees and members of their immediate households and dependents covered by the employee’s insurance may contact the UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center directly to make an appointment for counseling. If such appointments are during the employees scheduled work time, as with all appointments that require time away from work, approval of a supervisor may be necessary as dictated by departmental policy. Self-referrals are voluntary and confidential. Only UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center staff has access to client records and information.

Directed Referrals
An employee may be directed to meet with a UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center counselor to determine whether counseling may be helpful with correcting a documented job performance problem that has resulted in corrective action. In such cases, the referral must be approved by and coordinated with the Employee Relations Department of Human Resources. The employee will submit documentation to the Employee Relations Department of his/her attendance at the initial meeting with a UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center counselor. UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center records are confidential and will be maintained separate from the employee’s personnel file. Only members of the UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center staff have access to client records. If an employee chooses to disregard a referral for counseling for a job performance problem and fails to correct the job performance problem, the employee may be subject to further corrective action, up to and including separation from employment.

Program Benefit:
UAB gives employees with personal problems the opportunity to seek assistance. Therefore, with the approval of the employee’s supervisor, the employee may schedule an appointment with the UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center during work hours. However, if an employee chooses to participate in the program he/she may do so by contacting the UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center directly without informing his/her supervisor.

Employees and each member of their immediate household are eligible for up to twelve sessions per year, at no charge, at The UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center. Referrals will be made to appropriate community resources and/or providers for extended care or for care that exceeds the scope and/or expertise of the UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center. The cost of treatment for a problem that exceeds the scope and/or expertise of the UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center staff or requires additional resources may be covered by the employees insurance. The UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center will make every effort to facilitate referrals to appropriate outside service providers while being mindful of cost to whatever extent is feasible.

Employee Responsibility:
UAB expects employees to assume responsibility for the treatment and/or remediation of personal problems that negatively impact job performance. Upon referral by the UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center for treatment at an appropriate community resource/agency, it is the responsibility of the employee to make appropriate use of leave time as necessary. The UAB Benefits Office is available to assist employees in exploring leave options.

UAB does not assume any financial responsibility for employee treatment beyond the existing terms of the employee’s health insurance coverage.

Contact Information:
The UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center may be reached at: (205) 934-2281.  You many also contact UAB Employee Relations or your assigned HR Consultant for information about the UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center.