Frequently Asked Questions
Below, you'll find some frequently asked questions about EAP services for all employees and specifically for supervisors, managers and HR leaders. If you cannot find the answers to your questions here, please call us at 877-313-4455.
- What organizations does EAP serve?
The EAP serves Washington State Executive Cabinet agencies and over 80 public organizations across the state who contract with the EAP, including organizations in public higher education; K-12 public school districts and charter schools; municipalities; fire, water and library districts; tribal governments and not-for-profits.
- Who is eligible for EAP services?
Employees in Executive Cabinet agencies, employees in contracted public organizations and the adult household members of the employees are all eligible. The EAP does not provide direct services to anyone under 18 years old, but the caregivers can use the EAP in a consultative manner to problem-solve and identify referrals and resources.
- How do I access EAP counseling services?
To access counseling services, start here.
- How are counseling services provided? In person? By video? By Phone?
Since March 2020, the EAP office has operated via tele/video conferencing and by telephone. EAP staff counselors have been conducting counseling sessions via Zoom and by phone. Providers in the EAP's provider network have primarily been operating via telehealth and telephone platforms. As each provider is a licensed, independent practitioner, statuses vary across the network.
The EAP continues to monitor and assess the coronavirus public health crisis and will continue to adjust its operations to be aligned with public health recommendations and recommendations of the Governor's office.
Ultimately, our goal is to resume providing in-person services while also continuing to provide our services as we have since March 2020.
- Can you refer me to a counselor who accepts my insurance?
We make every effort to connect you with resources that meet your needs. Your criteria and network provider availability are not always aligned, and we cannot guarantee a referral to an available network provider who is also in your insurance network.
- Is EAP private and confidential?
Yes, with exceptions dictated by circumstances and law. Please review the Notice of Privacy Practices for the Washington State EAP
- How many times can I use EAP counseling services in a year
Thre is no specific number of times you can use EAP services, including the counseling services, in a year. The EAP is here to support you as you deal with a specific problem or challenge. Each unique, distinct problem is an opportunity to use EAP services. Should you find that you are in need of EAP services multiple times in a year, be sure to talk with an EAP counselor about coming up with a plan for longer-term, consistent support outside of the EAP.
- Can my supervisor or HR require me to use EAP services?
No. Use of EAP services is completely voluntary.
- Can I use my work time to access EAP services?
For state employees:
WAC 292-110-010 2.(a).(iv) permits the use of state resources, including an employee’s time, to access the employee assistance program. WAC 357-31-325 provides that agencies grant leave with pay for employees to receive assessment from the EAP. An EAP assessment takes between one and three sessions with an EAP provider to complete, and typically sessions take place in a counselor’s office in your local community and are an hour in length. Agency policies, Labor Agreements, and non-represented employee rules may vary about accounting for time away from the workplace, so check with human resource office or labor representative. Employees may use accrued personal time such as vacation or sick leave if they choose not to involve their supervisor or HR.
For non-state employees:
Check with your human resources office, agency policies, Labor Agreements, or labor representative about the rules related to use of EAP on work time. Employees may use accrued personal time such as vacation or sick leave to use EAP if they choose not to involve their supervisor or HR.
- What is a formal referral?
A formal referral is a referral type used by supervisors and human resource managers to encourage and help an employee address work performance concerns. The employee's follow-through on a formal referral is voluntary. RCW 41.04.730 outlines what the EAP can disclose to the referring party.
- Do I have to follow through on EAP recommendations and referrals
No. You are not required to follow through on EAP recommendations and referrals. Our goal is simply to offer you the best recommendations that we can.
- How do I refer employees to the EAP?
There are three EAP referral types - self referrals, informal referrals and formal referrals.
A Self Referral is when an employee independently contacts the EAP to access services. Job performance problems may or may not exist. You will not be notified of EAP contact without your employee’s consent.
A Informal Referral is when management encourages an employee to get support from the EAP. The referral is not related to work performance concerns.
A Formal Referral is a work performance management tool used by a supervisor or human resource manager to refer an employee to the EAP for work performance problems. When considering a formal referral, the supervisor should speak with an EAP Counselor first (an "Organizational Consult"), to discuss the concerns and to come up with a plan. To request an organizational consult, complete the Organizational Consult Form.
- If I consult with EAP, is it confidential?
Yes, your consultation with the EAP is confidential. We do not share your information with your employee or anyone else without your written permission.
- Will EAP help if there is a critical incident impacting our employees?
Yes. A workplace critical incident or traumatic event is an event that is sudden, unexpected, and of a magnitude that is beyond the norm of what usually happens to people at work, potentially overwhelming normal coping abilities. Such events can include workplace accidents, sudden deaths, or natural or man-made disasters.
When traumatic events happen they can adversely affect employees, which can show up in behaviors such as: increased absenteeism; reduced productivity; inability to focus, concentrate, or remember; increased errors; lowered morale; and generally disrupted work performance. All levels of workers can be affected including you as management. You have the dual role of managing the workplace as well as taking care of yourselves.
EAP provides a range of Incident Stress Management (ISM) services including: management consultation, de-escalation, debriefing, and follow-up services.
- How do I request an organizational consultation?
Complete and submit the Request for an Organizational Consultation form. An EAP Team member will contact you about your submission within 1 business day. For urgent matters requiring a quicker response time, call us at 877-313-4455. Please leave a message (do not select option 2) if you reach our phone system greeting.