Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
The Employee Assistance Program was established at UNL in recognition that:
- UNL cares about its employees.
- Employees sometimes have personal problems that impact work performance or general well-being.
- Almost any problem can be successfully treated, providing identification is early and referral is made for appropriate care. Whatever the problem--mental or emotional illness, finances, marital or family distress, alcoholism, drug abuse, legal, or other--the EAP may be able to help.
The EAP provides confidential and professional brief counseling, assessment, and referral for employees who seek assistance for personal concerns. Examples of EAP usage include: marriage or family problems, coping with the death of a loved one, alcohol or drug use, financial or legal difficulties, stress management, workplace communication issues, anxiety, or depression.
The EAP is voluntary, confidential, and free of charge. Ideally, the EAP hopes to provide a way to solve problems before they affect job performance. If job performance has already been affected, an employee's participation in the program will neither cause nor avoid any corrective action.
Eligibility for EAP Services All regular employees with a half-time or greater appointment and their immediate family members (those living within the household) are eligible for EAP services.
An employee or family member may call the EAP directly at 402-472-3107 (800-755-2655 from non-Lincoln locations) to make an appointment or to talk directly with a counselor. All information is held in confidence.
An employee may notice that a colleague is experiencing emotional distress. Whether or not job performance or interpersonal relationships are affected, an employee may suggest that a colleague make a confidential contact with an EAP counselor.
A supervisor may be aware that an employee is experiencing a life stressor, such as the death of a family member. Although the employee's job performance may not be affected, the supervisor, out of concern, may suggest a confidential contact with the EAP. If job performance has been affected and if work performance deterioration has been documented, the supervisor may suggest that the employee make a confidential contact with an EAP counselor. Participation in the EAP is voluntary, and a supervisor may not make a mandatory referral to the EAP.
Supervisory Consultation Supervisors who are unsure about how to respond to employees where personal problems may be affecting job performance may call the EAP for assistance. An EAP counselor can sometimes help to clarify the issue and may make suggestions to the supervisor.
Leave for Use of EAP Employees are to use flex-time whenever possible for time away from work for EAP visits. When the work schedule permits, employees are expected to visit the EAP on non-work time.
Employees who are referred to the EAP by a supervisor or employees who inform their supervisors of an EAP appointment are eligible for administrative leave up to a maximum of five hours per calendar year. Employees are expected to coordinate time away from work with the supervisor. If an appointment creates a problem for accomplishing the work of the department, the supervisor may work with an EAP counselor to reschedule.
NOTE: The EAP allows a maximum of five visits by any one client. However, complete problem resolution in long-term situations may require additional referral visits to other agencies.
An employee who chooses not to inform the supervisor of a visit to the EAP, may use sick or vacation leave. Current sick leave policy allows supervisors to request supporting documentation of a medical appointment. In the case of an EAP visit, only the appointment will be documented, with no reference to the reason for the appointment.
Employee Emergency Loan Fund Employees who encounter a personal financial emergency and who have exhausted all other avenues for financial assistance may be eligible for a loan of up to $750 through the Employee Emergency Loan Fund (EELF). More information about EELF and applications for loans are available through the Employee Assistance Program, 402-472-3107.
Employee & Dependent Scholarship Programs
New Employee Orientation Program
Within the first month of employment, all new regular employees are urged to attend an orientation program conducted by Human Resources. The program gives an overview of UNL, its functions, policies, and benefits, and it provides an opportunity for new employees to ask questions about their employment. It also provides information to employees about rights and responsibilities surrounding their UNL employment. Supervisors and employees are notified by Human Resources of the date and time the employee is scheduled to attend orientation, and supervisors are expected to encourage attendance. Attendance at new employee orientation will be considered as hours worked.
Service awards are to recognize all regular employees who have reached designated milestones in service. Temporary employment is not credited toward total years of service, nor is employment as a graduate or undergraduate student. As employees complete intervals of five calendar years of service, calculated on consolidated or continuous regular employment, they may select from a variety of awards.
Total years of service at UNL, UNO, UNK, UNMC, and/or CA are calculated from the service date. This date is used only when recognizing length of service. Because it may be adjusted to allow for past employment and/or breaks in service, it may not be the same as the date of hire or the leave accrual date.
Upon initial employment all regular employees are eligible to receive a UNL Photo Identification Card at no cost. Cards are issued in the identification card office located in the University Bookstore in the lower level of the Nebraska Union. You can visit the NCard page for more information on what to bring to get your identification card. Identification cards are required for a variety of activities, including checking out materials from all UNL libraries, using the campus recreation center, and showing eligibility for a free StarTran bus pass. There is a replacement fee for lost cards.
Departments are responsible for ensuring that employees separating from UNL return identification cards, keys, tools, and all UNL equipment prior to separation.
The services of a Staff Ombudsperson are available to office/service and managerial/professional employees who have been unable to solve a problem within their departments or through established channels. The Staff Ombudsperson, though not empowered to change policy, may be able to facilitate the handling of a problem or may direct employees to the person most likely to help.
All matters brought to the Staff Ombudsperson are confidential, and employees will not jeopardize their employment by seeking the services of the Staff Ombudsperson.
Employees are to be granted administrative leave for discussions with the Staff Ombudsperson.
The Staff Ombudsperson, located in 407 Canfield Administration Building South, is available during normal UNL hours or at other times by special arrangement, 402-472-3101.
Employee Responsibility to UNL
The responsibility of all UNL employees is to the institution rather than to the direct supervisor or to any other individual. Therefore, it is inappropriate for a supervisor to expect an employee to perform work that would be considered as personal or work other than that related to carrying out the role and mission of the department and/or UNL.
Employees performing work that could be construed as personal should do it on nonwork hours and should receive pay from the person for whom the work is being done.
Employees and Second Jobs
Human Resources policy does not prohibit an employee from holding a second job outside UNL or running a personal business, provided it does not impact job performance in the UNL position. Employees with second jobs or personal businesses may not receive special consideration for work scheduling or other employment matters.
An employee may not have outside employment or a business that poses a conflict of interest with the position held at UNL. For managerial/professional employees UNL approval may be required if the outside work is similar or related to work of the UNL position. The Permission to Engage in Outside Activity form is to be used for this purpose.
An employee may not use University property or other resources for outside employment or a personal business. An employee may not perform work related to the outside employment or personal business on time that is paid by UNL.
Outside Professional Activity for Managerial/Professional Employees
Managerial/professional employees are encouraged to engage in professional activities outside of UNL to broaden their experience and to keep abreast of developments in their specialized areas. Such activities may not interfere with regular duties or represent a conflict of interest.
Employees may accept temporary or occasional employment in the course of such professional activities. Before employees engage in any outside professional activity for pay (during working hours or nonworking hours), they should have approval from the department, the appropriate dean or director, and the chancellor or the chancellor's designee. To secure approval the Interest and Outside Activity Form can be completed through NUgrant at nugrant.unl.edu.
For some kinds of outside professional activity, specific approval of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska is required. Approval of the Regents, using the same permission form, is required before employees may:
- Accept retainer fees or other remuneration on a permanent or yearly basis as professional consultants.
- Accept professional employment requiring more than an average of two days per month during the period of their full-time employment.
- Charge fees for work performed in University buildings and/or with University equipment and materials.
- Provide professional services for remuneration to University departments or agencies of state government.
The University of Nebraska Lincoln will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.
Safety and Injury/Illness Prevention
Nebraska Law (LB757) requires employers subject to the Worker's Compensation Act to: 1) establish a safety committee, and 2) maintain an effective written injury and illness prevention program. Copies of the general safety policy approved by the Board of Regents may be secured from Environmental Health and Safety, 402-472-5488.
Employees working in areas where personal protective equipment is required for eyes, ears, respiratory system, skin, or head should contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, 402-472-4925, for an assessment of need and to determine proper protection solutions.
Once the proper protection assessment identifies the appropriate protective equipment, personal protective equipment items can be purchased through the designated University Prime Supplier Program. For ordering details, please contact Procurement Services at 402-472-2126.
It is intended that regular employees who leave UNL will have opportunities for confidential exit interviews. Departing employees are to receive questionnaires to be sent to Human Resources. If an exit interview is desired, the employee will indicate on the questionnaire, and the interview will be arranged by Human Resources. Questions about exit interviews may be directed to Human Resources.