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Employee Assistance Program


601. General Information

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) was established in March 1982 by Executive Order B96-82. At that time, the Department of Personnel Administration, now California Department of Human Resources (CalHR), assumed responsibility for the Program. EAP was established to assist employees and their family members in identifying and gaining control over personal problems which can, and often do, affect both family life and job performance. Through direct counseling and/or referrals, EAP counselors can assist employees in addressing family or marital difficulties, problems with alcohol or drugs, and feelings of stress or depression. Counseling and/or referrals to community resources is also available for financial matters, child and elder care issues, and legal matters.
CalHR's Benefits Division, currently maintains the master agreement with Magellan Healthcare to provide services for any State department that wishes to participate. Departments not participating under the master agreement with Magellan Healthcare  must provide their employees' with assessment and referral services under an internal program.


Governor's Executive Order B96-82
Government Code 19816.16
CalHR Rule 599.931 - Non-Represented Employees
Memoranda of Understanding - Rank and File Employees

602. Eligibility

Employees in participating agencies and departments who are appointed permanent full-time or part-time regardless of their bargaining unit designation are eligible for EAP services. An employee, their spouse or registered domestic partner, and eligible dependents are eligible to receive a specified number of sessions per contract year.
An eligible dependent is defined as an employee's legally married spouse or registered domestic partner and any unmarried children under 23 years of age (age 26 effective 7/1/2020). Eligible children include natural children, legally adopted children, stepchildren, and children for whom the employee is the legal guardian or who live with the employee in a regular parent/child relationship and are economically dependent upon the employee. If any unmarried child, who upon attaining age 23 (age 26 effective 7/1/2020), is incapable of self-support because of physical disability or mental incapacity and is dependent on the eligible employee for support and care, he/she shall continue to be considered a dependent under this definition, provided that proof of such incapacity is provided to the contractor. A child ceases to be a dependent upon marriage, when eligible as an employee, or upon entry full time into any branch of the Armed Forces.
Seasonal employees and retired annuitants are eligible for EAP services during employment.

603. Enrollment

Enrollment into the program is automatic; therefore, completion of an enrollment document is not necessary.

604. Extension of EAP Coverage Following Layoff

A number of employee bargaining unit contracts contain a provision for a six-month extension of EAP services. Specifically, Bargaining Units 1, 3, 4, 11, 15, 17, 20, and 21 all contain language in their contracts that allows their employees to receive a six-month extension of these services following layoff from State service. This extension also applies to Excluded employees. This extension is for time only and NOT an increase in benefits or visits. For instance, if a Unit 1 employee has already used one of three visits and is then laid off, the employee would only be entitled to the remaining two visits during the six-month extension period following layoff.

605. Survivor Benefits

Survivor benefits include
  • Surviving family members of employees who had Level 1 benefits, and family members of CHP employees who had Level 2 benefits may use EAP services for six months after the death of an employee.
  • Eligibility for EAP services for surviving family members of all other employees' stops at the end of the month the death occurred.

606. Magellan Healthcare

The Employee Assistance Program is both voluntary and confidential.  Members may access the program services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by calling the toll free number at 1-866-EAP-4SOC (866-327-4762) or TTY at 1-800-424-6117. The following information will be asked in order to schedule an appointment with one of Magellan’s network providers, who specializes in the area needed:
  1. Name and date of birth
  2. Address/phone number
  3. Covered employee's department, length of service, collective bargaining identification code (BU)
  4. Services for a covered employee or dependent
  5. Information source (how did the employee/dependent find out about EAP?)
  6. Reason for calling
  7. Marital status of employee/dependent
  8. Gender of employee/dependent, if questionable by name
  9. Area employee/dependent would like to be seen

Professional Staff

All providers are fully licensed and qualified in their areas of specialty.  These include psychologists, social workers, marriage and family counselors, financial advisors, child and elder care counselors, fraud resolution specialists, retirement counselors, and lawyers. 

607. Confidentiality

All records, which contain information pertaining to the identity, diagnosis, or treatment of anyone accessing EAP, are confidential.  Disclosure shall occur only under the following circumstances:
  1. When authorized by signed consent.

  2. When records are subpoenaed by court order and are not otherwise protected by law.

  3. When the clinician determines that the life or safety of the client or others is seriously threatened.

  4. When cases of child or elder abuse are suspected.

Records on individuals must be maintained in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, Public Law 93-579.

608. Level of Counseling Services/Problem Types

The State's EAP has three levels of counseling services. The level of service and number of sessions for which an employee is eligible depends upon their collective bargaining identification code (CBID). Covered state employees are eligible for a specified number of sessions for themselves and their eligible family members per contract year for the following four problem types:
  1. Alcohol Abuse
  2. Substance Abuse
  3. Marital and Family Issues
  4. Emotional, Personal, and Stress Concerns 

Work and Life Services are also available for the following:

  • Legal services
  • Financial services
  • Child and elder care assistance
  • Identity theft recovery services

These services do not count against clinical sessions.

When both spouses or registered domestic partners are state employees, both partners and family members are entitled to the counseling services under each employee’s employment category. Group counseling sessions of standard duration with one counselor are counted as one session.

The state has three benefit categories and three different benefit designs which are determined by bargaining units. These are per contract year, July 1 – June 30.

Eligibility Table  

Eligibility Table

​Employment Category

​Face-to-Face Sessions Per Contract Year (Contract Year:  July 1 - June 30)


Bargaining Units 5 and 7 employees and all exempt, managerial, supervisory, and confidential employees of the California Highway Patrol.

Bargaining Unit 7 employees (R07), managers (M07), supervisors (S07), and confidential employees (C07) in any other department.

Bargaining Unit 6 employees (R06), managers (M06), supervisors (S06), and confidential employees (C06).

Bargaining Unit 8 employees (R08), managers (M08), supervisors (S08), and confidential employees (C08) including seasonal and intermittent firefighters.

  • Seven sessions per problem type for employee.
  • Seven sessions per problem type for spouse or registered domestic partner.
  • Seven sessions per problem type total for dependent children, not including the employee and spouse or registered domestic partner.


All California Highway Patrol, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (State Fire Marshall), and Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation employees (unless listed in Level 1 above).

  • Three sessions per problem type total for the employee, spouse or registered domestic partner, and dependent children.


All other employees.

  • Three sessions total for employee.
  • Three sessions total for spouse or registered domestic partner and dependent children.

You will not be eligible for EAP if any one of the following events occurs: 

  • Your employment with the State of California ends.*
  • Services are used in a fraudulent or deceptive manner.
  • The contract between the State of California and Magellan Healthcare ends.


  • Employees covered by Level 1 services may use EAP for 90 days after the date of retirement, as may CHP employees who were covered by Level 2. Employees in Level 3 services benefits ends the month following their retirement.
  • Surviving family members of employees who had Level 1 benefits and family members of CHP employees who had Level 2 benefits may use EAP services for six months after the death of an employee.
  • Eligibility for EAP services for surviving family members of all other employees stops at the end of the month after the month the death occurred.
  • Following layoff from state service, excluded employees and these Bargaining Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 15, 17, 20 and 21 receive a six-month extension to their EAP services.  This extension is for the time only and not an increase in services.  Services for all other employees end on the last day of the month after the month the layoff occurred.

609. Referrals

There are three ways that EAP services may be accessed:


This type of referral occurs as a result of an employee recognizing a problem in either his/her own or a dependent's life. As a result of this recognition, the employee and/or dependent may contact the service provider for assessment, short-term counseling, and possible referral.

Informal Referral (Supervisor Recommendation)

This type of referral occurs when a supervisor wants to help an employee whom the supervisor senses is struggling with a personal problem; or perhaps an employee has asked a supervisor for help in solving a problem. The supervisor can play a key role in helping the employee get immediate assistance by suggesting that he/she use EAP.

Formal Supervisor Referral

A formal referral is utilized when there is no improvement in an employee's work performance or other areas of deficiency which were discussed in their informal corrective meeting.  A supervisor will talk directly with a Magellan Workplace Support Consultant (WPS) by calling 1-866-EAP-4SOC (1-866-327-4762).  The WPS consultant will advise the supervisor of the best way to approach the employee regarding EAP.  In addition, the consultant will provide guidance to help the supervisor prepare a formal letter to be given to the employee to address  the stated problem, and to review management’s expectations.
A Supervisor's Handbook is available from the departmental EAP Coordinator. The handbook provides specific guidelines for making a formal supervisory referral.

610. Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD)

CISD services can be provided on a fee-for-service basis when an eligible employee has an immediate need for psychological support stemming from a reaction to a life-threatening situation or traumatic incident related to his/her environment.  The incident may be the death of an employee, an assault in or around the workplace, or a natural disaster.  The debriefing, either group or individual, can be accomplished by telephone or face-to-face and should be provided as soon after the event as is practically feasible and clinically appropriate, typically within 72 hours of such an occurrence..

611. Cost

The State of California contracts directly with Magellan Healthcare for EAP services. Provided the employee/department uses Magellan Healthcare clinicians, there is no cost to the employee or their family members for the initial authorized sessions. If, however, there is a need for continued services with Magellan Healthcare providers beyond these sessions, fees and other arrangements need to be discussed with the provider. Whether treatment is sought through an outside provider or with the Magellan Healthcare provider, the employee/dependent is responsible for the cost incurred.
CISD services and other specialized orientation and training services are arranged directly between each department requiring the services and Magellan Healthcare. Departments may obtain these services by contracting directly on a fee-for-service basis with Magellan Healthcare.

612. Employee Assistance Program Coordinator (EAPC)

Each State department is required to have a departmental EAPC. The EAPC will be responsible for the following aspects of the program:


  • Plan, develop, implement, and manage your department’s EAP program.
  • Ensure employees and all levels of management are educated about EAP benefits and services available, and how to access services.
  • Conduct and/or coordinate EAP training and orientation sessions for supervisors, managers, and employees.
  • Maintain confidentiality of all EAP information.
  • Serve as the liaison between your department, CalHR and the EAP contractor.
  • Promote EAP within your department, i.e., emails, educational materials, flyers, health fairs, brown bag lunches, etc.
  • Advertise and encourage your employees, supervisors and managers to attend EAP sessions.
  • Consult with your department’s managers and supervisors on how to appropriately use EAP as a resource tool in addressing job performance issues.
  • Ensure a separate contract (STD. 213) between your department and the contractor is in place for fee-for-services.
  • Contact the contractor to set up CISDs or other special services for your department.
  • Ensure that invoices received from contractor for CISD’s and other fee for services are paid timely.
  • Distribute brochures, business cards, monthly updates, and other EAP materials to your department’s employees.
  • Post the EAP posters in highly visible areas to facilitate promotion of EAP services.

613. Internal Programs

Each appointing authority maintaining an internal program must have an approved EAP policy and procedure statement on file with CalHR. This should include, at a minimum, the following information:
  1. A written policy establishing the department's program support and defining types of problems addressed by EAP, including how the internal program best fits department program needs.
  2. Adopted and published procedures including:
    1. How and where records are to be maintained, for what length of time, who will have access, and how and when information will be released and to whom.
    2. Procedures for supervisors to follow when referring employees to the program. This should include the identification of deficiencies in job performance, documentation, work improvement discussion, and subsequent performance evaluations.
    3. Self-referral procedures indicating how individuals can access the services with assurance that confidentiality will be maintained.
    4. A client satisfaction document to be distributed to all users that surveys all phases of program participation including the user's opinion of number of sessions allotted, therapist's help and interest, accessibility of coordinators, management support for time off, confidentiality, etc.
    5. Methods of communication devices to be used in disseminating program information to employees throughout the organization, (e.g., orientations, e-mails, brochures, newsletters, articles, paycheck stuffers, etc.).
    6. Method of verification of providers' and clinicians' professional status
  3. Statistical information regarding the utilization of services.
  4. Details of any other desirable components that enhance the program's effectiveness.
  Updated: 11/9/2016
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