Effective counseling is private and confidential. EAP respects client confidentiality and creates the best atmosphere possible for a consultation.
An employee’s counselor cannot reveal that an employee made a visit to EAP or disclose what was discussed without their written permission to do so. Wisconsin Statutes define this “privilege” or legal right to client confidentiality and define the exceptions to it. The exceptions include instances that cause harm to others or oneself, break the law, or court subpoenas. In order for a counselor to notify you that the employee came for a visit or what was discussed, the employee must consent in writing. Most employees will agree, if it is helpful in some way for their supervisor to be aware that they are seeking help. Some will not. When an employee opts to refuse release, EAP staff are not at liberty to discuss the situation directly or indirectly.
Note: It is possible, however, for you as a department chair, supervisor, director or team leader to obtain guidance on the situation by consulting with a different EAP staff member.