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393401: Ethics for Human Resources Professionals

  • Fall 2023
  • Section 1
  • 10/02/2023 to 10/29/2023
  • Modified 09/22/2023


Today's HR professionals function as a key source of ethical awareness for managers and employees. This course heightens awareness of when integrity and an understanding of ethical issues are required, not only when advising others, but also when addressing the issues HR professionals face. Instruction enables participants to recognize the parts of their jobs in which ethical issues are most likely to be experienced; they employ practical techniques to develop solutions, evaluate their impacts, and decide on a course of action. Additionally, participants understand the impact of cultural and organizational pressures to conform, identify when to escalate issues and to whom, know the early warning signals of conflict between personal and work values, and assess how to maintain personal integrity.


  • To be able to identify ethical issues and apply practical actions while maintaining personal integrity
  • To determine how ethical factors may impact cultural and organizational pressures to conform
  • To gain the ability to develop solutions and evaluate possible outcomes
  • To be able to apply practical information in the workplace


  • Identify where and when ethical issues are likely to occur and how to maintain personal integrity
  • Determine the factors that impact cultural and organizational pressures to conform
  • Develop solutions, evaluate their impacts and decide on a course of action
  • Acquire a toolkit with practical information to apply in the workplace


Making Ethical Decisions

  • Author: Michael Josephson
  • Publisher: Ingram
  • Edition: 2002
  • ISBN: 978-1888689136

Workplace Ethics: Mastering Ethical Leadership and Sustaining a Moral Workplace

  • Author: Paul Falcone
  • Publisher: Harper Collins Leadership
  • Edition: 2022
  • ISBN: 13 978-1400229970

Recommended Optional Reading List


  • Emphasis is on Essay, Assignments and participation in discussion forums with substantive contributions at least one
    time per week
  • Optional assignments can replace required assignments, apart from the Essay which is a mandatory requirement to
    pass this course.



This class is Pass or Fail. Students will be evaluated on their participation, discussion and assignments during the course.

Types of evaluations and related weights
Type Weight Topic Notes
Final Assigment 50%

Final Assignment is mandatory to receive a Passing grade.

Discussions 50% Review Posts

Must reply to discussion and comment to at least one other student's post.

Course Policies

Instructor Expectations

Participant Expectations:

  • Participate actively, timely, constructively and meaningfully in all course forums at least 2 times per week
  • Submit all assignments by the time and date indicated in the TABLE provided
  • Notify me as soon as possible if you have a emergency or need more time for an assignment (late assignments will be granted within a time frame of up to one week / 7 days from receipt of notification)
  • All participants in the course are bound by the University of California Code of Conduct, found at
  • In an online classroom, our primary means of communication is written and has many advantages: more opportunity for reasoned thought, more ability to go in-depth, and more time to think through an issue before posting a comment. However, written communication has certain disadvantages, such as no face-to-face signaling that occurs through body language, intonation, pausing, facial expressions, and gestures. As a result, be aware of the possibility of miscommunication and compose your comments in a positive, supportive, and constructive manner

As your Instructor I will:

  • Review course content, materials, assignments and forum prompts prior to the start of the class
  • Post a welcome message prior to start
  • Be online at least five days per week during the course
  • Respond to individual emails within 48 hours
  • Facilitate your learning experiences with purpose


Course Format: Online

This course is designed to be completed entirely online. All course activities and assignments will be managed through Canvas – you will use your unique username and password to log into the course, interact with your instructor and fellow students, and submit any required assignments.

Since attendance is asynchronous (not in real time), you may login at any time of the day. However, you are expected to participate in the virtual classroom on a weekly basis and complete all readings, discussion requirements and assignments/exams as required (see Course Policies below for more information).

Please keep a copy of all assignments and work submitted. Print the syllabus for your reference. It is your responsibility to be aware of all assignments, due dates and guidelines.

Note the following points about online courses at UCLA Extension: 

  • Students must have basic computer skills, including the use of word processing software, email, and the ability to use internet browsers such as Firefox, Safari, or Chrome.
  • Students should familiarize themselves with Canvas and are responsible for meeting the minimum technical requirements for using Canvas.
  • Course materials will become available two days before the beginning date of the course.
  • Students must follow all posted deadlines and must complete all work in Canvas by the end of the course. Students receiving an “Incomplete” may not complete work within Canvas and must work individually with their instructor to satisfy completion requirements.

Planning Your Study Time

To plan your study time, it is estimated that you will spend 3 hours per week "in class" with the instructor and approximately 7 additional hours per week outside of class studying for exams, reading, and completing assignments. Depending on the extent of your academic preparation and recent college-level coursework in this topic area, the amount of study time needed may vary considerably.

Institutional Policies

Student Conduct

Students are subject to disciplinary action for several types of misconduct or attempted misconduct, including but not limited to academic dishonesty, such as cheating, multiple submission, plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the University; or behavioral misconduct, such as theft or misuse of the intellectual property of others, harassment, or disruption of the learning environment.

All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition and includes the use of material generated wholly or in part through the use of artificial intelligence (except when the use of AI has received prior authorization for assessment as a reasonable accommodation for a student’s disability, or when the use of AI is a specified part of the coursework, e.g. data science or user experience). Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Student Rights & Responsibilities Policy and to report concerns.

Services for Students with Disabilities

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, UCLA Extension provides appropriate accommodations and support services to qualified applicants and students with disabilities. These include, but are not limited to, auxiliary aids/services such as sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices for hearing-impaired individuals, extended time for and proctoring of exams, and registration assistance. Accommodations and types of support services vary and are specifically designed to meet the disability-related needs of each student based on current, verifiable medical documentation. Arrangements for auxiliary aids/services are available only through UCLA Extension’s Service for Students with Disabilities Office at (310) 825-7851 or by email at [email protected]. For complete information, please visit Accessibility and Disability Services.


The interim grade Incomplete (I) may be approved for a student who has completed the majority of the course requirements, with passing quality (grade C or higher), but is unable to complete a small portion of the coursework by the course end date for good cause. For courses in which an Incomplete may be allowed, approval by the instructor of record and the academic program director is required. The Incomplete grade is not an option for courses that do not bear credit, such as 700, 800, or 900-level courses.

  • It is the student’s responsibility to petition for an Incomplete by emailing the appropriate academic program department at least one week before the end of the course. The Program Department will initiate the petition process once the email is received.
  • The student, the instructor, the CE/Program Director, and the program staff must complete the petition prior to the final course meeting or before the quarter end date. This process can take up to one week to complete. 
  • The instructor will approve or deny the request. The instructor will provide details on what the student needs to accomplish in order to complete the course, as well as a due date for submitting completed work. The due date cannot exceed the end of the ensuing quarter when a final grade must be reported or the Incomplete lapses to the grade “F,” “NP,” or “U.” Visit UCLA Extension Grading Scale for more information.  

An Incomplete allows the student to complete only work that is outstanding and does not allow prior completed work to be retaken or resubmitted.

All Grades are Final

No change of grade may be made by anyone other than the instructor, and then, only to correct clerical errors. No term grade except Incomplete may be revised by re-examination. The correction of a clerical error may be authorized only by the instructor of record communicating directly with personnel of Student and Alumni Services.

Sexual Harassment

The University of California is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals who participate in University programs and activities can work and learn together in an atmosphere free of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation. Every member of the community should be aware that the University prohibits sexual harassment and sexual violence, and that such behavior violates both law and University policy. The University will respond promptly and effectively to reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence, and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and when necessary, to discipline behavior that violates our policy.

All Extension students and instructors who believe they have been sexually harassed are encouraged to contact the Department of Student and Alumni Services for complaint resolution: UCLA Extension, 1145 Gayley Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024; Voice/TTY: (310) 825-7031. For more information, please view the University’s full Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence.

Additional Items

Protecting Privacy and Data During Live Instruction

Live meeting sessions for this class, when applicable, are being conducted over Zoom. As the host, the instructor may be recording live sessions. Only the host has the ability to record meetings, no recording by other means is permitted. Recorded sessions will be posted in the Videos area of this class unless otherwise notified. Due to privacy, recordings are not available for download and are only accessible via Canvas for the duration of the class. If you have privacy concerns and do not wish to appear in the recording, do not turn on your video and/or audio. If you also prefer to use a pseudonym instead of your name, please let the instructor know what name you will be using so that the instructor knows who you are during the session. To rename yourself during a Zoom meeting, click on Participants, click on your name, click on More, click on Rename. If you would like to ask a question, you may do so privately through the Zoom chat by addressing your chat question to the instructor only (and not to ""everyone""). Additionally, chat may be used and moderated for live questions, and saving of chats is enabled. If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact the instructor via Canvas Inbox.

Pursuant to the terms of the agreement between Zoom and UCLA Extension, the data is used solely for this purpose and Zoom is prohibited from re-disclosing this information. UCLA Extension also does not use the data for any other purpose. Recordings will be deleted when no longer necessary. However, recordings may become part of an administrative disciplinary record if misconduct occurs during a video conference.

Course and Instructor Evaluation

UCLA Extension values your feedback on course and instructor evaluations. We ask all students to take a few minutes to complete an end-of-course evaluation survey. Updates to the course and instruction are influenced by your feedback. Understanding your student experience is essential to ensure continuing excellence in the online classroom and is appreciated by your instructor and the UCLA Extension academic leadership.

Your participation in a survey is voluntary, and your responses are confidential. After instructors submit grades, they will be given an evaluation report, but this report will not contain your name.

About Your Online Course Materials

Please note the following about online course components at UCLA Extension:

  • Students must have basic computer skills, including the use of word processing software, email, and the ability to use internet browsers, such as Safari, Firefox, or Chrome.
  • Students are responsible for meeting the technical requirements of Canvas and familiarizing themselves with the Canvas Learning Management System.
  • Students are responsible for keeping a copy of all assignments and work submitted, and to be aware of all assignments, due dates, and course guidelines.
  • Students have access to courses via Canvas for an additional 30 calendar days after the course end date listed in the syllabus (the first 14 days are full access; the rest are read-only).
  • Students are encouraged to download/print content throughout the duration of the course and before the additional 30-day access ends. No further access is possible after the course becomes unavailable.

    To download all your assignment submissions in Canvas, please refer to the online support guide. for more information or contact Canvas Support via the help menu within Canvas.

UCLA Extension Canvas and Learning Support

For immediate 24/7 Canvas technical support, including holidays, click on Help (located on the menu to the left) where you can call or chat live with a Canvas Support representative.

UCLA Extension Academic Technology and Learning Innovation
The UCLA Extension Learning Support staff assists both students and instructors with Canvas-related technical support, as well as general and administrative questions.

Learning Support staff is available Monday through Friday, from 8 AM to 9 PM (Pacific Time), except holidays:

Campus Safety Escorts

For students taking classes held on the UCLA campus and in and around Westwood Village, the UCLA Police Department provides a free walking escort service every day of the year from dusk until 1 a.m. Community Service Officers (CSOs) are available to walk students, faculty, staff members and visitors to and from anywhere on campus, in Westwood Village, and in the village apartments. CSOs are uniformed students who have received special training and are employed by the UCLA Police Department. To obtain an escort, please call (310) 794-9255 and allow 15 to 20 minutes for your escort to arrive. For complete information, see UCLA Evening Escorts.


Course calendar and related activities
When Module Title Notes
Week 1
Introduction to Ethics, Culture and Values


Chapter 1 “Making Ethical Decisions.” (MED-Textbook)

Chapter 2 (MED-Textbook)

Pgs. 1-17 (Workplace Ethics-Textbook)

Business Ethics: The Role of Culture and Values for an Ethical Workplace

Post Responses on Discussion Board Week - Make sure you respond to at least one other student’s post



Week 2
Framework for Making Ethical Decisions

Chapter 3 (MED-Textbook)

Pgs. 18-28 and Pgs. 103-122 (Workplace Ethics - Textbook)

Post Responses on Discussion Board Week 

Make sure you respond to at least one other student’s post

Week 3
Morals making the right in decisions

Chapter 4 (MED-Textbook)

Part 2 & Part 3 (Workplace Ethics - Textbook)

Jeffry Kluger, What Makes Us Moral? Time Magazine

Post Responses on Discussion Board Week

Make sure you respond to at least one other student’s post

Week 4
HR Professions and Ethics Program

Chapter 5&6 (MED-Textbook)

Pgs. 128-139 (Workplace Ethics - Textbook)

Final Assignment: Essay – Read the Enron Case or another organization that demonstrated what you believe is unethical behavior. By applying what you’ve learned in class do the following: 1) identify and describe in your opinion what caused unethical behavior. 2) List 2 to 3 actions that  the organization, in your opinion, could’ve done to prevent their downfall(3 to 5 pages Max

Post Responses on Discussion Board Week 

Make sure you respond to at least one other student’s post