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Northstar EAP
Employee & Student Assistance Program, Business Coaching, & Human Resources
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How to use EAP and EAP Referrals

Any Employee with Northstar EAP service through their Employer can use their EAP benefit at any time. Northstar not only provides short-term mental health counseling and therapy for point in time challenges and issues, we have tools and resources to supplement and add to the employee engagement model.

Learn more about our additional options for Employees to access:


In addition to an employee self-designating for EAP, there are three kinds of referrals a supervisor can make to the EAP.

1. Informal Referral

No job performance concerns at present but without supportive EAP services, the situational stress may result in a breakdown in performance in the future. The employee makes the choice to follow through on the referral or not. There is no reporting to the workplace by the EAP.

2. Formal Referral

This referral is used to formalize the discussion the manager is having on problematic work issues. - Decline in work performance; the employee may already be receiving performance coaching. The manager wishes adjunct support from EAP to help the employee correct the work performance problem that may be due to outside stresses or specific behavior in the workplace. The referral may be made part of a corrective performance plan. Expectations are set for the employee to use the EAP as a tool in correcting the work problem. The employee signs a release so that the EAP can report to the supervisor that the employee is attending and cooperating in utilizing the EAP services.

3. Mandatory Referrals

Referrals made to the EAP when an employer is at the corrective action stage where discipline or termination of the employee is imminent and there are mitigating circumstances that motivate the management of the Company to provide an opportunity for the employee to resolve their problem. Mandatory referrals are also used when the employee’s behavior presents a risk and liability to the company. Compliance with such a referral is mandatory and failure to follow through with the EAP referral evaluation, treatment, and service recommendations in full may be the basis for discipline of employee. This should only be done where the Company policy provides for such a protocol.

The employee’s job is at risk of declining in performance and/or behavior if the employee does not follow through with the assessment and recommendations.

Reasons for these types of Mandatory Referrals:

  • Violence or threats of violence in the workplace
  • May include domestic violence/harassments
  • Sexual harassment in the work place (Corporate Accountability is replacing this problem)
  • Age discrimination
  • Nation of origin discrimination
  • Suicidal evaluation/Safety Risk
  • Hostile Work Environment – behavior creating this
  • Drug/Alcohol in the workplace or self reported to the workplace/Safety Risk

Because there can be a great many factors that play into each of the situations described above, it is often helpful to first consult with Northstar EAP before deciding what level of referral to make, as well as how to communicate the referral to the employee.

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