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International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2

By Jay M. Shafritz | Go to book overview

to refer employees to other health care providers, for example, an alcoholic may be referred to an alcohol rehabilitation program.

In many cases employees make the initial telephone call to the EAP but never visit the therapist when they are referred. Some employees visit the therapist but do not comply with treatment recommendations. For example, an alcoholic in denial may not enter a recommended 28-day inpatient treatment program. Therefore follow-up systems are important components of employee assistance programs. Through these systems EAP program staff and administrators determine the number of clients who comply with treatment recommendations, assess treatment outcomes, and discover ways to improve programs.

Employee assistance programs develop evaluation systems to help managers and program administrators make decisions about the appropriateness of EAP services, identify ways to improve the delivery of intervention, and may be a requirement of the funding groups who have responsibility for allocation of program funding. Evaluations of EAPs also meet ethical needs by assessing the extent to which programs deliver services that meet promises to reduce the costs of troubled employees and ameliorate problems that impact employees' lives and job performance. Standards of the Employee Assistance Professionals Association and the Employee Assistance Society of North America may provide some criteria for these program evaluations.



Anderson, V. V., 1977. Psychiatry in Industry. New York: Arno Press

Anonymous, 1994. "EAPs: Cost-Effective." Chief Executive, issue 91 (January-February) 35

Bergmark, R. Edward, Marcie Parker, Philip H. Dell, and Cynthia L. Polich , 1991. "EA Programs: The Challenge, The Opportunity." Employee Assistance. vol. 3, no. 12 (July) 7-14

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1990. The Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Mental Illness: 1985 (DHHS) Publication No. ADM 90-1694). San Francisco: Institute for Health & Aging, University of California

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., 1992. NCADD Fact Sheet.. Alcohol and Other Drugs in the Workplace. New York: National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc

Segal, Boris, 1990. The Drunken Society: Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in the Soviet Union A Comparative Study New York: Hippocrene Books

Spicer, Jerry, with Patricia Owen and David Levine, 1983. Evaluating Employee Assistance Programs: A Sourcebook for the Administrator and Counselor. Center City, MN.

EMPLOYMENT AT WILL. When an employee's continued employment depends entirely upon the willingness of the employer to retain him or her. In other words, the employee has no contractual or other right to the job and, strictly speaking, can be dismissed for any reason or at the whim of the employer. However, because employment in the United States is now regulated by myriad labor relations, civil rights, wage, hour, health, and safety laws, the term "employment at will" is often used more loosely to mean that the employee can be dismissed at the will of the employer without significant procedural safeguards. In the public-sector, employment at will, which typically pertains to high-level or confidential political appointees, stands in distinction to civil service employees who can be fired only for just cause and have constitutional due process protection against arbitrary, capricious, or unlawful dismissals.

Employment at will was the dominant condition in the public sector in the United States prior to development of civil service systems. It was first sanctioned by the U.S. Supreme Court in Exparte Hennen ( 1839). A federal judge fired a judicial clerk, stating explicitly that "unreservedly, . . . the business of the office for the last two years had been conducted promptly, skillfully and uprightly, and that in appointing [a successor], he had been actuated purely by a sense of duty and feelings of kindness towards one whom he had long known, and between whom and himself the closest friendship had ever subsisted" (p. 256). The Court was unwilling to provide the clerk with any constitutional protection against the dismissal because it feared that the alternative to at-will employment would be lifetime tenure. In the Court's words, "it cannot, for a moment be admitted that is was the intention of the Constitution that those offices which are denominated inferior offices should be held during life" (p. 259). Coming a decade after President Andrew Jackson called for widespread reliance on patronage appointment and dismissal in the federal service, the ruling assured that the Constitution afforded no barrier to entrenchment of the spoils system.

At-will employment remained the norm even after enactment of the federal Civil Service Act (Pendleton Act) of 1883. In principle, it was eliminated for federal employees in the competitive (or classified) civil service by the LloydLa Follette Act of 1912, which allowed dismissal only for such cause as would promote the efficiency of the service. In more recent decades, court decisions have afforded public employees throughout the nation protection against adverse actions that encroach on their constitutional rights. In the late 1990s, even rank-and-file public employees who lack civil service protection enjoy a constitutional right not to be dismissed or otherwise adversely treated on the basis of their political affiliation ( Elrod v. Burns, 1976; Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois, 1990). They also have constitutional protection against adverse actions that infringe on their right to nonpartisan free speech ( Rankin v. McPherson, 1987; Waters v. Churchill, 1994), freedom of association ( Shelton v. Tucker, 1960; Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson,


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