Magazine article HRMagazine

When EAPs Are Not the Answer

Magazine article HRMagazine

When EAPs Are Not the Answer

Article excerpt

Angry, aggressive behavior like that displayed by Vester Flanagan-the ex-TV newsman who threatened co-workers and then killed two journalists during a live Aug. 26 broadcast-should be addressed with a workplace threat assessment rather than by referring the worker to an employee assistance program (EAP), according to experts on workplace risk and violence.

"I routinely advise clients to engage a qualified threat assessment expert when faced with an employee who has acted out in inappropriately angry and aggressive ways, particularly when that behavior involves direct or implied threats," said Rebecca A. Speer, principal of Speer Associates, a workplace law firm in San Francisco. In Flanagan's case, it's not clear whether the TV station hired a threat assessment expert following his outbursts, although he had been referred for EAP counseling.

Below is guidance from experts about which solution is best for specific situations.

Recommend an EAP If ...

* An employee knows he has a problem such as depression or substance abuse. …

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