Legal Considerations in I/O Psychology

 
In 2017, a pregnant Walmart employee who worked as a packer at a distribution center was struggling with morning sickness and asked for a break from some of her duties. Her supervisor responded that she would need a doctor’s note. Consequently, the woman obtained a note from her doctor that said she was to avoid heavy lifting and gave it to her supervisor. In turn, her supervisor referred her to Human Resources. A Human Resources employee informed her that she could not return to work until after she gave birth because she was a “liability,” and that she would have to apply for unpaid leave to keep her job. Did Walmart discriminate against this employee?
In the United States, there are many anti-discrimination laws; yet, as the Walmart example shows, discrimination continues to be a problem in the workplace. For this Assignment, you will examine the role of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in enforcing anti-discrimination laws. You will also consider what steps you would take to ensure equity in the workplace as an I/O psychology practitioner.
To Prepare:

Read Chapter 3 in the Aamodt text, Industrial/Organizational Psychology: An Applied Approach, and “Title VII” of The Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Identify unlawful employment practices and anti-discrimination laws.
Consider the role of the EEOC in addressing unlawful employment practices.
Think about the best practices you would apply as an I/O psychology practitioner to prevent discrimination and ensure equity in the workplace.

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Submit a 3–4-page paper that addresses the following questions. Your paper should follow APA style, be double-spaced with one-inch margins, and include a title page and reference list.

Describe the role of the EEOC in the practice of I/O psychology and three different laws that are enforced by the EEOC.
Describe two different types of discrimination prohibited by the laws enforced by EEOC and at least three best practices you would suggest for ensuring equity in the workplace.
Suppose you find yourself in an elevator with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company that you admire greatly. You strike up a casual conversation that suddenly turns to the topic of discrimination in the workplace, and you quickly realize that the CEO has no understanding of I/O psychology or I/O psychologists’ roles in addressing these concerns. One day you hope to begin your I/O career at this company or one similar to it. Therefore, you decide to give a quick elevator speech on I/O psychology and its role in best practices to address discrimination and inequity in the workplace. What would you say?

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