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By law, all services provided by the DEA Employee Assistance Program are confidential.

EAP Confidentiality. . .

* Prohibits the of sharing any information on you, your EAP contact, and/or the nature, content, or duration of your involvement with the Program.

* Is required of all Employee Assistance Program Clinicians and non-Clinician Staff Members.

* May be broken at any time by EAP clients or by the EAP upon the written request of the client.

Unless requested to do so by our clients …

The EAP is prohibited by Federal law from working on behalf of or providing client information to assist:

  • OPR Investigations
  • IG Investigations/Evaluations
  • Fitness for Duty Evaluations (medical)
  • Career Board Actions (reassignments, promotions, hardships)
  • Performance Evaluations
  • Lawsuits/Divorces/Custody/Forensic Evaluations
  • Suitability Review Evaluations (psychological)

Federal Law requires

That information regarding a person’s EAP participation may not be released without the written consent of the client. EAP client data must be kept in locked files at the Clinician’s and Contractor’s offices. Inquires into a person’s EAP use are responded with “I can neither confirm nor deny any person’s participation in the program”. Inquiries resulting from Security Clearance renewal (SF-86) may only be answered with the written permission of the Program’s client. Responses to such inquiries are limited to a single response as to whether a person “constitutes a threat to National Security”.

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Exceptions to Confidentiality

In a few “special circumstances” EAP Clinicians may be required by law and professional ethics to disclose a limited amount of EAP Client information to secure the safety of that individual or of others. All EAP clients are informed of these mandatory exceptions to confidentiality before receiving the Program’s Counseling Services and must agree to them in writing.

Exception
Reason
  • Danger to Self
  • Danger to Others or Threat to Commit a Serious Crime
  • Child/Elder Abuse or neglect
  • Spouse Abuse (varies by State)
  • Bona Fide Medical Emergency
  • Appropriate Court Order
  • Safety/Professional Ethics/Court Rulings
  • Safety/Professional Ethics/Court Rulings/Federal Law
  • Safety/Advocacy/State Laws/Federal Law
  • Safety/Advocacy
  • Federal Law
  • Federal Law

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Protecting Your EAP Confidentiality

It is a legal requirement that all EAP Clinicians and Staff members maintain strict confidentiality regarding your EAP contacts and participation.  Keep in mind, however, that this legal requirement does not bind your supervisors or fellow employees.  They have no obligation to keep confidential any information that you decide to share with them. Therefore the key to keeping your EAP involvement confidential is YOU. 

A few simple preventive steps, however, can go a long way in protecting your EAP Confidentiality…

*  To keep your EAP appointments completely private, request "Sick Leave" using WebTA. Unless you are under a "Leave Restriction Letter", no other information can be required of you by your Supervisor in making EAP appointments.

*  Be aware that the DEA Personnel Manual now allows you to preserve Sick or Annual Leave by requesting that your Supervisor grant you "Administrative Time Off" for your EAP appointment.  "However", to make the request you will have to notify them of your EAP participation and they can ask for documentation that your time away from the office was used for an EAP session. 

Whenever possible, keep your EAP visits private!  Never unnecessarily tell someone of your EAP involvement unless you are prepared to have that information shared with others.

*  Do not report post-trauma Clinical Briefings with an EAP Clinician on your SF-86 (Security Clearance Renewal).  It is not required.  They are education sessions like EAP Trainings.

*  Do not report EAP marital, family or grief counseling on your SF-86.  It is not required.

*  Read the "Release of Information" on the SF-86 before you sign it.  Understand that there is only one question that may be asked by investigators about your EAP participation ("Is this person a threat to National Security?")

*  Call the EAP Headquarters Staff (202-307-8160) with any additional questions you have regarding your EAP Confidentiality.

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