Can an employer legally force employee to use EAP

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employer legally force employee to use EAP

HR manager stated to said employee that employer may have to get legal involved if employee did not contact the EAP program Is this legal? could this be viewed as a veiled threat?

Asked on January 17, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It doesn't have to be a "veiled" threat--it may be an explicit or overt threat and it would still be legal. Unless you have a written employment contract guarantying your employment, you are an employee at will. As an employee at will, your employer may terminate (or anything less than termination, such as suspend, demote, reduce hours or pay, etc.) you at any time, for any reason--including a refusal to use the employee assistance program. If you do not comply with your employer's request, they may take employment action against you.

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