Section 1. The Parties recognize that alcoholism, drug abuse, and emotional disorders are illnesses that can interfere with job performance.
The Library will provide an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) according to applicable law and this Agreement to provide assistance to employees in overcoming such problems. The Employee Assistance Program is administered by the Employee Relations Office. Assistance is provided by this office to help employees identify and resolve their behavioral/medical problems that affect work performance. This may be done through prevention programs, counseling, assessment and referral to organizations and individuals in the community for treatment, and rehabilitation.
It is the policy of the Library to encourage and to facilitate employees' efforts to seek help voluntarily for such problems through this program.
Section 2. On a semi-annual basis the Guild and Library management will meet to discuss matters of mutual concern in employee assistance. Library management will report on the activities and programs of the Employee Assistance Program.
Section 3. The Library agrees to educate and inform employees of the availability of employee assistance programs and shall take positive steps to promote and refer these programs to employees.
Section 4. Supervisors are encouraged to contact the Employee Relations Office as soon as they have good and sufficient reason to believe that a work-related problem exists with an employee that is due to personal, emotional, drug, or alcohol related problems. If an employee appears to have such a problem that is adversely affecting his/her job performance (including behavior/conduct), the supervisor should make a written referral, advising the employee to obtain confidential counseling through the Employee Assistance Program.
The Library will encourage and facilitate the employee's efforts to resolve his/her behavioral/medical problem and will give consideration to written employee requests to take actions which it may determine to be appropriate and within its authority such as but not limited to: granting annual leave, advanced sick leave, and leave without pay which are supported by medical documentation; and approving requests for limited duty, part-time schedules and/or reassignment for a limited duration, which are also supported by medical documentation. Approval of these requests must always be consistent with the determination of the Library of its ability to accomplish its mission and meet the needs of the agency. Denial of these requests and the determinations by the Library are non-grievable.
Acceptance by an employee of counseling assistance under LCR 2018-3 (Employee Assistance Program in the Library of Congress) is not a bar or a stay to taking disciplinary action under the provisions of appropriate Library regulations; however, an employee who timely accepts treatment and/or counseling after referral will be given a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate satisfactory performance.
In instances of misconduct, the employee will be referred whenever possible; however, no time period is guaranteed prior to prosecuting an adverse action. An offer of assistance, and/or a referral made under this program, even one made concurrent with the proposed disciplinary action, does not protect the employee against a disciplinary action.
Reasonable opportunity is an amount of time commensurate with that required to: determine the nature of an employee's problem, if any; determine appropriate corrective measures and treatment; and apply such corrective measures and treatment.
This period of time shall not in any case exceed the time established in LCR 2017-5 (Obligations of management and Staff to Fulfill Position Requirements) which is the reasonable opportunity provided for in Section 3C of LCR 2018-3, and which recognizes the continuing obligation of staff members at all times to perform satisfactorily the requirements of their positions. Employees who timely accept treatment pursuant to the terms of this program will be assured of a ninety ( 90) day period to improve performance under LCR 2017-5, Section 3A and/or a ninety (90) day period to improve performance under Section 3B. Timely acceptance of treatment occurs when the employee responds to the written referral by consulting with the EAP staff within ten (10) workdays after receipt of an oral warning (Section 3A) or a written warning (Section 3B) and having established evidence of a behavioral/medical problem covered by this article enters the program. The employee must demonstrate continuing cooperation in the program and satisfactory progress during the period set out above.
All days on approved leave for documented initial medical treatment shall not be counted as time assured to an employee above, to improve performance.
When an employee's condition has been medically documented as not remediable, he/she will be offered information and assistance in applying for disability retirement when the length of service requirement has been met. However, an employee's application for disability retirement shall not preclude or delay any other appropriate personnel action by the Library.
- Confidential Information
- All information and records under the EAP shall be treated as confidential, except to the extent that information may be communicated to supervisors by program personnel to assist in determining reasonable time to demonstrate satisfactory performance under Section 4. However, the Parties agree that, while no employee shall be compelled to participate in the Program, the Library shall not be barred, in appropriate proceedings, from introducing the fact of the employee's refusal to join in, or withdrawal from the Program. No confidential information regarding the employee's specific medical condition shall be released by the Library without the employee's consent.
- An employee who participates in this Program is assured that information relating to his /her care will not be released to anyone, including his or her supervisor, without the written consent of the employee. The consent for disclosure shall include:
- the office which is to make the disclosure;
- the name or title of the person or the organization to which the disclosure is to be made;
- the name of the employee;
- the purpose and/or need for the disclosure;
- the extent or nature of the information to be disclosed;
- a statement that the consent is subject to revocation at any time (except to the extent that action has been taken in reliance thereon), specifying the date, event, or condition upon which the consent will expire without express revocation;
- the date on which the consent is signed; and
- the signature of the staff member.
- The Health Services Office and the Employee Relations Office are responsible for processing and maintaining records relating to an employee's problem due to alcoholism, drug abuse, or emotional disorder. These records shall be kept confidential in accordance with this Agreement and the law.
- The employee is responsible for seeing that appropriate records related to health and other records and information are provided to the Employee Relations Office for consultation, treatment, or follow-up purposes if he/she wishes to participate in the Program.
- An employee's Official Personnel Folder shall not refer to confidential information in the employee's EAP record except to the extent that this information is relevant and necessary to document disciplinary or adverse actions, and other personnel actions and prepare the final Personnel Action Recommendation. Information gained from EAP counseling records will not be placed in the Official Personnel Folder. An employee's voluntary self-referral to the EAP, prior to the employer's initiating action under LCR 2017-5, shall not be placed in the Official Personnel Folder.
- An employee and/or his/her representative designated in writing shall be given access to his/her non-medical Employee Assistance Record. The Health Services Office and the Employee Relations Office shall determine which EAP records will be released. (Medical information will be furnished in accordance with Article 12 (Personnel Records), Section 5.)
Section 6. This article shall not be construed as a relinquishment by the Guild of its responsibility to represent an employee, upon request, in connection with personnel actions involving alleged alcoholism, drug abuse, emotional disorder, or other behavioral/medical problems.
Section 7. Library of Congress Regulations remain in full force and effect and shall govern except to the extent that they are modified or amended by the specific terms of this article.
Section 8. All unit employees who have a medical/behavioral problem within the purview of this article shall be informed upon referral of applicable contract articles or Library regulations pertaining to their situation.
Section 9. The Library and the Guild will meet, consult, and bargain over the impact and implementation of changes in conditions of employment not covered by this Agreement.
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, D.C. 20540