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I am the H.R. Director for a BeyondTheRack Corporation, a 30,000 employee off-price retailer, headquartered in Massachusetts with store locations and distribution centers throughout the country. We currently do not have an Employee Assistance Program. Our CEO realizes that many competin

Employee Assistance Programs are benefit programs, designed to help employees face personal problems that might negatively impact their work performance, health, or overall well-being. The personal issues for which Employee Assistance Programs provide support vary, but can include, alcoholism, substance abuse, emotional distress, major life events such as births, accidents, and death, health complications, family and relationship dynamics, and work environment concerns. A 2008 study from the Families and Work Institute found that 65% of employers provided EAPs in 2008, an increase from 56% in 1998 (Dargan, 2010). Employee Assistance Programs generally include a variety of services such as situation assessment, short-term psychological counseling and referral services to specialists if needed. Employers choose to provide this benefit to their employees for many different reasons, ranging from the desire to support their employees and their family members, accepting the evidence that healthy employees make for a more productive workplace, and protecting themselves from liability and legal issues (Jacobson, 2010).
An Employee Assistance Program's basic services are usually funded by the employer so that associates and their families can utilize them free of charge. Most offer employees between three and ten sessions with a trained counselor or adviser. The employer negotiates services based on per-employee charges which range from $12.00 to $30.00 per calendar year. The cost, in comparison to expenditures on health insurance, remains minimal (Grossman, 2010). How can…...

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