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Federal Employees Benefits Q &A

Do you have questions about your federal employee CSRS or FERS pension/annuity or federal employee retirement planning? Concerns about your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account or what about federal employee pay and leave issues?

Ask your question here.

The Q&A forum is moderated by Ed Zurndorfer -- an expert on federal employee benefits -- and a Certified Financial Planner, chartered life underwriter and chartered financial consultant in Maryland.

Zurndorfer is also the author of several federal employee benefits guides published by Federal Employees News Digest.

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rae  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, January 10, 2017 8:33:11 PM(UTC)
rae

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Do I have to use my sick leave to see a provider through EAP? The reason I'm going to talk to someone pertains to a horrible situation I'm in at work and I can't talk to anyone there about.
I don't feel I should have to use my sick leave for a situation that pertains to my job. Also I will be having some major dental work and will need to use my sick leave then. Where can I find something in writing about leave taken to go to provider appointments through EAP?
Thank you for your help.
Ed Zurndorfer  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, January 11, 2017 3:25:57 AM(UTC)

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You will need to check with your Personnel or Human Resources Office and ask that office whether you have to use your sick leave during your work day in order to see a provider through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
rae  
#3 Posted : Thursday, January 12, 2017 8:12:37 AM(UTC)
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Thanks Ed for responding. I talked to HR and was told that I had to use sick leave for counseling EAP appointments but the person did not sound sure. I also asked for something in writing or where I could find something in writing that stated this and she did not know.

I was unsuccessful trying to find anything about this through OPM. I asked EAP and they told me to ask HR. I'm sure there's some documentation on this, but I don't know where to look or who to ask. Is there anyone else on this forum who cares to respond or provide any other resources?
Ed Zurndorfer  
#4 Posted : Thursday, January 12, 2017 8:20:20 AM(UTC)

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Sorry for your frustration. Perhaps you should talk to the HR head.
SDAnalyst  
#5 Posted : Thursday, January 12, 2017 11:22:48 AM(UTC)
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You have to use leave for EAP. The fact that you are saying it's because of your job is irrelevant. It's medical treatment. If you file a Worker's Comp Claim for injury/stress for this situation and it's accepted, you would get the time back.
SDAnalyst  
#6 Posted : Thursday, January 12, 2017 11:30:36 AM(UTC)
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I just found EAP Guidance on Leave on OPM's site.
https://www.opm.gov/poli...-handbook/#url=Chapter-3

"Should Employees be Charged Leave When They Go to the EAP?

Your agency may grant periods of excused absence to an employee for participation in the agency's EAP for problem identification and referral to an outside resource. This might take as many as five or six visits with the counselor.

In addition, your agency may grant excused absence for general employee orientation or education activities (e.g., program briefings, general orientations, seminars, etc.).

During any period(s) of treatment and rehabilitation through an outside resource, consider the use of annual or sick leave or leave without pay."

So unless your Agency is willing to grant you Admin Leave to go to EAP, you will have to use your own Leave. If you request this, you are going to wind up disclosing what you are going to EAP for, and that defeats the purpose of using EAP.

Ed Zurndorfer  
#7 Posted : Thursday, January 12, 2017 2:31:36 PM(UTC)

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Thank you for your input into this forum.
RightGuy45  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, April 19, 2017 3:18:07 AM(UTC)
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Does management have to approve an employee going to EAP?

Is EAP counseling usually on site?
Ed Zurndorfer  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, April 19, 2017 4:05:09 AM(UTC)

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While management does not have to approve ahead of time for an employee to participate in EAP, management has the right to know that an employee is taking time off to participate in EAP.
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