APA Ethical Codes

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In 2014, the United States Supreme Court heard the case of respondent Abercrombie and Samantha Elauf after the latter was denied an employment opportunity. Abercrombie & Fitch turned down Ms. Elauf for a modeling position due to an apparent clash with the company's favored collegiate way of attire, ideally classic East Coast. Ms. Elauf was rejected a job because she wore a head scarf, which the firm believed violated their no cape policy. Ms. Elauf, a practicing Muslim, donned a religious "hijab" in accordance with her religious responsibilities, which contrasted with the company's dress code. Consequently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) acted on Ms. Elauf’s behalf and filed a suit on the basis of possible violation of Title VII according to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

It was alleged that the applicant was subjected to undue religious scrutiny and discrimination from her prospective employer. The EEOC was able to get a summary judgment on the case and a settlement of $20,000 by a Jury but the 10th Circuit in Denver overturned the award with the opinion that the case should have been dismissed before trial because the complainant had not expressed the need to be accommodated because of her religious practices. The case was based on the pinion that the prospective employer made a hiring decision based on a prohibited motive whether confirmed or otherwise with ample evidence that Ms. Elauf probably wore a hijab for her Muslim religious affiliation. Ms., Elauf stood for her faith and the EEOC stood for the accommodation of her religious affiliation straightforward.

In their commitment to providing scientific and professional knowledge to the society, organizations and individuals psychologists in this case had a lot of APA ethical codes to adhere to because of the dealings of the case. In helping the respondents to make informed judgments in the observed human behavior in the case, the psychologist on the case had several roles to play including the role of an administrator and social interventionist as well as a consultant. In the preliminary analysis of the case, the psychologist has to appropriate the general principles that are aspirational to the APA ethical codes of conduct such as ensuring no harm for the defendant, trust and integrity in ensuring the justice of the legal process and the legal rights and respects involved in the case proceedings. As a possible ethical issue, the psychologist also has the responsibility to avoid any misuse of the psychologist’s representation of work in the resolution of the ethics in law in respect to the conflict especially that in the case, there is a conflict between ethics and organizational demands.

On the grounds of competence, the psychologist also has to consider the boundaries of competence in relation to the services appropriate for the case and emerging issues that require reasonable steps in the rules and governing roles involved. The psychologist also has a responsibility to makes sure that any complications of interest and mutual relationships are not involved in the case or professional relationship so that there are no conflicts of interest. In this respect, the psychologist has to define the third-party service involved such that the organizations’ position is declared non-exploitative and informed on all professional aspects of consent, confidentiality and disclosure. The codes dictate that the professional disposition in the case also required that there be minimal intrusions on privacy disclosure and consultation for didactic or other legal construal of the situation.


Association, A. P. (2017). Ethical Principles of Psychologicst and Ethical Codes of Conduct. Retrieved from apa.org: http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/

EEOC vs. Ambercrombie & Fitch Stores Inc. , 575 U.S (U.S Supreme Court June 1, 2014).

Liptak, A. (205, June 1). Muslim Woman Denied Job Over Head Scarf Wins in Supreme Court. Retrieved from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/02/us/supreme-court-rules-in-samantha-elauf-abercrombie-fitch-case.html

April 26, 2023

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