Your contact with the Employee Assistance Office is confidential within limits as governed by Federal and State regulations. This means that most of what you tell the Employee Assistance staff person will be kept confidential and cannot be released without your authorization. However, Employee Assistance staff do not have “privileged communications” as, for example do lawyers, doctors or ministers. Therefore, Employee Assistance staff cannot offer you absolute confidentiality.
Any information related to the following areas may be released, without your authorization, to appropriate persons, e.g., a dean, department chair, director, manager or supervisor, a crisis intervention worker or a law enforcement officer.
- An unexplained, unusual or suspicious death
- An abused or neglected child or elder
- A threat to one’s own life or threat to cause harm to another
- A formal referral appointment, i.e., an appointment requested or arranged by an individual’s supervisor.
Note- Employee Assistance staff may inform your supervisor of the following:
- If the appointment was kept;
- A recommendation was given to you;
- You indicated an intention to follow the recommendation.(Examples of such recommendations include: to seek counseling through a community provider; to meet with a union steward; or to consult with Affirmative Action.) However, Employee Assistance staff may not reveal the specifics of the recommendation without your authorization.
In addition to these four areas, information may also be released pursuant to a court order. Aside from these special circumstances, the Employee Assistance staff will keep confidential what you tell them. This means that they will not share it with anyone else without your prior authorization.