Using a Five-Stage Model to Evaluate Workplace Discrimination Injuries

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Abstract

Psychological assessment for workplace discrimination injuries is often complex, as each complainant has a particular personal history and context, including different coping skills, psychopathologies and unique life circumstances. A five-stage model based on best practice guidelines can assist forensic assessment practitioners in determining compensatory damages for psychological or psychiatric injuries and in formulating defensible, evidence-based reports that meet legal standards. The model incorporates legally relevant theories of causation to guide the evaluating psychologist to discern the nature and extent of any injury, and whether discrimination was the likely proximate cause. The focus is not on diagnosis but on functional performance (cognitive, affective, interpersonal and physical) in four key contexts: activities of daily living, relationships, the workplace and hedonic pursuits. This assessment method compares functioning in the complainant's life until the 'day before' the alleged discrimination event with the complainant's condition at the time of the alleged discrimination, and any symptoms or reactions experienced subsequently. The five-stage model provides a systematic method to examine compensatory damages claims and increase the comprehensiveness and accuracy of the forensic evaluation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-99
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Injury And Law
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

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