Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sheppard Pratt Employee Assistance Program -- Employee Statement of Understanding

I worked as a paralegal at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld from 1988 to 1991.   I visited Akin Gump's Employee Assistance Program on three occasions: twice in September 1989 (Kathleen Kelly) and once on November 26, 1990 (Judy Peres).  The visits were to obtain referrals for treatment.  I spoke with Judy Peres by telephone in May 1991 to obtain a referral to a hypnotherapist.  I inspected my mental health information file at Sheppard Pratt in July 1993 following my job termination on October 29, 1991; I met with Suzanne Reynolds at her office.  I also spoke by telephone with Alana Baptiste, Esq. on July 2, 1993.  Oddly enough, my mental health information file contains no record of my second meeting with Kathleen Kelly in September 1989.  I specifically recall that at my second meeting with Kathleen Kelly I provided her documents regarding anti-Semitism.  These documents were missing from my file.  I suspected possible foul play by Sheppard Pratt: that Sheppard Pratt intentionally did not record my second visit with Kathleen Kelly in September 1989 and intentionally did not place the documents concerning anti-Semitism in my case file.  But I have no evidence of any foul play.

Note that Sheppard Pratt encourages supervisors to refer troublesome employees for counseling.  Despite Akin Gump's allegations that I had interpersonal problems at the firm and that I was "very difficult to supervise," my supervisor never referred me for counseling to Sheppard Pratt.

The Sheppard Pratt Employee Assistance Program and their affiliates have been retained by your employer to offer you confidential consultation at no charge.

Assessment and referral services offered to employees and their family members has been prepaid on a contractual basis by your employer. If Employee Assistance Program staff or Affiliates should recommend further care at a treatment agency or with a private practitioner, the cost of that treatment will be your responsibility. Often the cost can be defrayed by your company's medical benefits; however, not all counseling is reimbursable under every policy. Although we make every effort to refer you to an individual or agency with whom you can use your benefits, the ultimate responsibility for verification of coverage is yours. You should, thus, check with your benefits department and/or insurance company to verify your coverage.

Confidentiality - Information regarding your use of the Employee Assistance Program will not be given to anyone outside of the EAP except in cases where there is imminent threat of suicide, homicide or abuse of others.

Self-referrals - If an employee or family member comes in for assistance, no one will be notified of the individual's use of the Employee Assistance Program, unless the individual signs a Release of Information Form.

Supervisory Referrals - If an employee contacts the EAP as a result of a referral from their supervisor for job performance problems, you may be asked if you wish to sign a Release of Information form to allow us to confirm your attendance at EAP. Nothing regarding the personal concern will be discussed unless you authorize it in writing on the Release.

Voluntary Participation - Use of the Employee Assistance Program is voluntary. Employment or advancement in the corporation is not affected by the employee's decision to use or not to use the services. The corporation evaluates an employee on the basis of his or her work performance, not his or her use of he program.


/s/ Gary Freedman



/s/ Judy Peres, MSW





Gary Freedman said...

Sheppard Pratt Preferred Resources, Inc.

July 14, 1993

Gary Freedman
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008

Dear Mr. Freedman

This letter is in response to your recent inquiry about your case file.

With regard to your question concerning EAP consultation with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld:

We have no record of contact concerning you with either Dennis Race or Malcolm Lassman.

With regard to your question about Sheppard Pratt EAP's role in providing consultation to employers regarding employees whose job performance is affected by personal problems (attendance, quality/quantity of work or workplace conduct):

When an employer calls to discuss a troubled employee, we inquire about the history of documentation to determine if the employee's problem is chronic or in early stages. If the employer hasn't documented any earlier problem we suggest a statement of concern and an informal referral to the EAP. This can often prevent the problems from intensifying if the client follows up with recommendations. If the problem is chronic and there is documentation of a pattern of behavior impacting on job performance over a long period of time, we recommend a formal referral to the EAP. The purpose is to provide confidential intervention/support or accommodation to the problem which if addressed could ultimately lead to termination.

We do not tell employers to terminate employees. If an employer has months of documentation and has followed internal disciplinary procedures, i.e., providing verbal, written and suspension as counseling techniques it is the company's decision to fire for cause. Generally, employers do not call to ask EAP advice about terminating employees. They may call us to inform us about their decision if they know the employee was referred to the EAP, yet the performance problems continued over a long period of time. If we do not oppose the decision, this does not imply that we concur in the decision to terminate the employee.


Suzanne Reynolds, M.A., CEAP
Assistant Director
Director -- Washington Operations
Employee Assistance Programs


record on appeal at 63-64

Gary Freedman said...

In March 1996 I advised the D.C. Superior Court and the D.C. Corporation Counsel that I possessed tape recordings of telephone conversations in which Dr. Ticho denied talking to Dennis Race or anyone at Akin Gump; in which Sheppard Pratt (Alana Baptiste, Esq.) denied speaking with Akin Gump and stated about Akin Gump's allegation of a communication with Sheppard Pratt prior to my job termination: "That just sounds so fabricated."

I provided the MPDC (J.E. Williams, 2d Dist.) a copy of those tapes in April 2004.

Gary Freedman said...

I specifically recall that at my 2nd consult with Kathleen Kelly at Sheppard Pratt in September 1989 I gave her a xerox copy of page 476 of Fritz Stern's book, Gold and Iron: Bismarck, Bleichroeder, and the Building of the German Empire (New York: Knopf, 1977). That page was missing from my Sheppard Pratt case file.

Prof. Stern teaches history at Columbia University in New York. I formed the paranoid belief that Akin Gump spoke to Prof. Stern about me.