Confidential Service Helps Employees Through Tough Times

When life throws you a curve ball, it's always unexpected and rarely a simple, clean affair.

To help Cal Poly Pomona employees work through life's difficulties, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides referrals to support groups, organizations or professionals. Through its website and confidential hotline at (909) 869-4551, faculty and staff members can receive guidance on a variety of issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, depression, legal and financial assistance, and caring for elders.

“We help you best navigate the many resources available so you don't feel totally lost,” says Angie Hernandez, employee/labor relations manager. “You have various avenues you can seek out.”

As a referral service, EAP guides employees to the many programs and resources that are available either through a mouse click or a phone call. Hernandez calls the service one of the best kept secrets on campus, but she's hoping that can change.

The web site provides a comprehensive overview of services available through the employee medical plan, campus resources, community agencies, support groups and counseling services. It also includes an online encyclopedia to help employees, their friends and co-workers understand depression, grief, stress, anger and abuse. Another section of the site helps managers recognize when an employee is struggling with a personal problem that may be hampering their work performance.

For more personal or direct interaction, the confidential hotline is staffed during business hours, and messages are returned within 24 hours. Because the program helps people with highly personal and sensitive issues, all information shared over the phone is completely confidential and will never be put into an employee's personnel file.

Hernandez points out that the hotline is a referral service and does not provide counseling or make follow-up calls once the referrals are given. Employees are welcome to call back if they need additional assistance. To protect the privacy of employees, EAP does not provide statistics on the hotline calls or the number of page views on its web site.

“These situations can be confusing places to be. It's easy to be overwhelmed, even physically exhausted,” Hernandez says. “The Employee Assistance Program helps people understand that they're not going crazy and they can get help.”

The Employee Assistance Program confidential hotline is (909) 869-4551. For more information about EAP, visit