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Mandatory EAP California Anger Management

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  • Mandatory EAP California Anger Management

    I have been in a managerial position with the same company for 13 + years
    From time to time I have been known to "respond unprofessionally" when I have a serious disagreement with the response, question or situation

    I recently had an episode, the prior incident was at least 12 months prior.

    I have been verbally counseled by peers and supervisors in the past but never formally received any form of "documented" discipline

    Over my tenure I have received significant promotions and cross functional transfers with favorable performance in all tasks assigned

    Last week I was called into my bosses office with two representatives and required to sign a "memorandum of understanding" (MOU) which included mandatory EAP counseling with signing the consent for the EAP to disclose to my employer my "compliance" with their recommendations.

    The MOU is a zero tolerance agreement, and reaches out to any other company policies.

    This anchor around my neck follows me into a brand new roll, which I have found myself in as a result of corporate restructuring, The other six people nationally similarly situated prior to this restructuring, have also been reassigned to new positions, the change of assignment is not a result of the my actions, however my actions may be a result of underlying anxiety of a job elimination and unknown future assignment.

    I argued in vain over the words documented versus discussed in the MOU (the only documented incident they could site was a mention of the tendency with no consequences in a 1996 performance review) and reluctantly signed the documents and made the call to the EAP provider to set the appointment. I felt I was in a no win situation and my refusal to sign the MOU would be noted in my file and I would still be subject to the consequences outlined in the MOU.

    I have made the first appointment with the EAP provider, I have yet to execute the authorization to disclose to my employer, that was a condition of the mandatory EAP

    I would prefer to discuss the nature of the disclosure with the EAP provider within the protections of a voluntary self referral, prior to executing a waiver of that protection. My theory is that if I am being refereed to counseling for anger management and I have to worry about what I say during counseling being repeated or construed as being "non cooperative" to the process, the chances of the EAP session being successful are seriously limited

    1. Do I need to resolve the context of the MOU based on the fact that the first recorded discipline (of any type) after almost 14 years goes straight to immediate termination on the next event or any other company policy ?

    2. I waived the offer of time to think about signing the MOU, was that a mistake ?

    3. At this point is it appropriate for me to request time to discuss the nature of the disclosure and possibly include mutually agreed upon limitations to the EAP disclosure with the EAP professional ?

    4. Since complying with the EAP is mandatory as a condition to continued employment, if the EAP recommends additional treatment beyond the coverage of the EAP program (additional sessions), external medical examinations, drugs, etc . . . . Should the company be obligated to fund the cost of the additional "recommended" treatment since I am am completely out of control of the process by the structure of how I got here ?

  • #2
    My opinion is that the question of whether to mount any challenge to this personnel action, what your right to privacy is in this situation, and the potential consequences of your decision, are too serious for you to rely on an inernet forum for advice. I suggest that you have a consultation with an experienced employment law attorney in your area to discuss all of the facts, your questions, and your options.

    Comment


    • #3
      That was my obvious next step - Was going to ask for a referral for a plaintiffs attorney from a former co-worker who is a VP of human resources in an unrelated industry

      Comment


      • #4
        Good! In the meantime, people here can and will give you good general advice.

        Do you have any idea what precipitated your employer's decision to do this? Ae you over 40?

        Comment


        • #5
          52 ? And the reason for that question is ?

          I was very frustrated, The tone and context of the questioning to a process that I was being asked for the fouth time in year.
          Last edited by cheap$buyer; 01-13-2008, 10:13 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Let's take a step back.

            First, you said you recently reacted unprofessionally. Now, that could be anything from accidently cursing during a conference call when you spill coffee on yourself to a full blown screaming match at an associate.

            From an employer's point of view, if it was more the second than the first, I would have taken the same step if you were a valued employee. If you were not a valued employee or this showed a pattern, I would have terminated you.

            So, the fact that there was a lot of time between incidents has ALREADY worked in your favor - because you still have a job.

            Second, if the anger management is part of your action plan, the provider can tell the employer "pass or fail" without talking about any of the specifics of the program.

            Moreover, the confidentiality of that communication is subject to your control. You can give the provider the permission to share your results with your employer. The document you signed probably granted this permission.

            Third, you had two options when brought when you walked into your meeting. Agree to the terms of the MOU or leave the company.

            You agreed. Therefore, I would expect that any information related to the MOU you signed away your right to confidentiality upon.


            Finally, depending upon the incident which began this process, it may be entirely appropriate that this counseling be considered to be your "last chance".

            This may, by the way, tie into your requests for future treatment.

            Your company is going to incur a ton of expenses in the hopes that an employee can be salvaged. If it doesn't work, there will only be so many lengths they will be willing to go.

            If you feel like you need to complete this MOU and then keep your nose clean or corporate is going to fall on you like a ton of bricks, you are absolutely correct.
            Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

            I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

            Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

            Comment


            • #7
              I asked your age to see whether you are old enough to be in a protected class in regard to possible age discrimination (over 40). I am not suggesting that you are being discriminated against because of your age, but one should always look at every angle.

              The tone and context of the questioning to a process that I was being asked for the fouth time in year.
              I apologize, but this doesn't make sense to me.

              I think cyjeff offered you good advice.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by las365 View Post

                I apologize, but this doesn't make sense to me.

                I think cyjeff offered you good advice.
                In a meeting, i was asked to justify a decission that I had explained at least four times prior this year in the same meeting format, I was agitated to be in the meeting since it was no longer my responsibility and my sucessor/superior had blown off the meeting and I was visibly upset at the inquisition aproach to justify my decisions and verbalized my anger including foul language

                Comment


                • #9
                  Apparently, someone thought your words were a big deal.

                  Anger management doesn't hurt and it won't make you less of a person. It will just help you find some constructive ways to move your energy.

                  No worries.
                  Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                  I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                  Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    When you meet with the EAP practitioner, discuss what info you do and do not want shared with your employer. For example, you can have him/her disclose only your attendance and general level of cooperativeness or progress, with no other details.

                    As a therapist I had a lot of clients who were required to see me (for probation, to be allowed back in school, etc) and we clearly discussed and agreed on what I would and would not share. MY colleagues who provided EAP services did the same.

                    You will be asked to sign an Authorization to Release Information. Make sure the form is filled out to very specifically describe what can be disclosed to the employer.

                    EAP practitioners are (hopefully) licensed and they have a strong commitment to adhering to their state licensing and ethics requirements. They will not violate the authorization you sign, or they would jeopardize their license.

                    Comment

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