The true client.
These EA professionals see a conflict of interest in the sense that the SAP may lose objectivity when assessing an employee who works for a corporate EAP client. That's because the corporate client may have a strong desire to return the employee to duty sooner than may be warranted based on the level/severity of the employee's substance problem.
I work in an external EAP and have handled more than 100 SAP cases since 2001. Some of these cases have involved employees of our corporate EAP clients. I have no problem taking these cases because I understand, as the article states, that my function is "to protect the public interest in safety by professionally evaluating the employee and recommending appropriate education/treatment, follow-up tests, and aftercare."
I clearly explain the above quotation to the designated employer representative (DER), whether or not he/she is an EAP client. Ultimately, the public safety becomes the true client, and understanding and acting on this notion avoids any "ethical dilemma" in handling SAP cases of this nature.
Gerry Ahlers, LCSW,, CEAP, SAP
Director of Behavioral Health and Occupational Services
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|Publication:||The Journal of Employee Assistance|
|Article Type:||Letter to the Editor|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2005|
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