A. There is hereby created a State Employee Assistance Program within the Office of Personnel Management. The program may provide assistance to state agencies in their management of employees whose personal problems may have a negative impact on job performance. The program may also provide for assessment, referral, consultation, and problem resolution assistance to state employees and their family members seeking corrective help with medical or mental health problems, including alcohol or drug abuse and emotional, marital, familial, financial or other personal problems. Participation in the State Employee Assistance Program shall be on a voluntary basis.
B. The Administrator of the Office of Personnel Management is hereby directed to:
1. Promulgate rules necessary for the administration of the State Employee Assistance Program and the maintenance and release of participant records;
2. Conduct training specific to the State Employee Assistance Program; and
3. Establish evaluation methods to assess the effectiveness of the State Employee Assistance Program.
C. Nothing in this act is intended to nullify any agency's existing employee assistance program or to prohibit any state agency from establishing its own employee assistance program; provided, however, such programs established by state agencies shall be subject to compliance with rules promulgated by the Administrator of the Office of Personnel Management to ensure equitable treatment of employees.
D. Records that relate to participation by an individual in the State Employee Assistance Program or an employee assistance program established by a state agency shall be maintained separate and apart from regular personnel records and shall not become part of an employee's personnel file. Such records relating to an individual's participation in an employee assistance program shall be confidential and not subject to subpoena unless a participant poses a threat to deliberately harm the participant or others. Such determination shall be made by an Employee Assistance Program Professional. A participant in an employee assistance program shall have a right of access to his or her own employee assistance program records.
E. No provision of this section or the rules promulgated pursuant to this section shall be construed to conflict with an appointing authority's responsibility and authority to maintain discipline or to take disciplinary measures against employees for misconduct or unacceptable performance. Further, participation or nonparticipation in any state employee assistance program shall not excuse an employee from discipline or otherwise affect the terms and conditions of such employee's employment status or opportunities for advancement with the state.
F. 1. There is hereby created the Employee Assistance Program Advisory Council to assist in the implementation of the state's employee assistance program. The Council shall advise the Administrator on policy issues and provide support to expand and improve program services that are available to state employees and their families.
2. The Employee Assistance Program Advisory Council shall consist of the current nine (9) members who shall continue to hold their current positions through June 30, 1995. Effective July 1, 1995, three members shall be appointed by the Governor, three members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and three members shall be appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. All members shall serve two-year terms, unless removed prior to the expiration of a term by the respective individual making the appointment. Any vacancy in office shall be filled by the individual who made the initial appointment. The Council shall select a chair and vice-chair from among its membership. A majority of the members of the Council shall constitute a quorum to transact business, but no vacancy shall impair the right of the remaining members to exercise all of the powers of the Council and every act of a majority of the members present shall be deemed the act of the Council.
3. Members of the Council shall receive no compensation for serving on the Council, but shall receive necessary travel reimbursement by the employing agency for members who are state employees or appointing authorities of agencies pursuant to the State Travel Reimbursement Act. Any member employed in state government shall receive the reimbursement from their employing entity. Members who are not employed in state government shall receive travel reimbursement from the Office of Personnel Management.
4. The Council shall not have authority to adopt rules pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act.
G. The Legislature and the judicial branch of state government may utilize the services of the State Employee Assistance Program at their discretion.
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Oklahoma Office of Personnel Management