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Vol. 10 No. 2

A Promising Tool For Helping Vulnerable Workers? An Exploration of the Use of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) to Help Low-Wage Workers on College Campuses

November 10, 2010


Employee assistance programs, or EAPs, are an employee
benefit designed to help workers meet their work and family
needs. However, questions have been raised about the design,
utilization, and scale of services that EAPs make possible for
low-wage workers. This article explores whether on college
campuses an EAP benefit can simultaneously meet the needs
of faculty and professional staff as well as hourly workers in
parking and security, janitorial and facility, and dining services.
Findings derived from interviews and a literature review reveal
many promising practices worthy of replication by colleges
and universities; however, this investigation also revealed the
limits of EAPs’ usefulness for “working poor” service workers
in higher education.