HireCentrix News Updates
WASHINGTON—Employers who require job applicants to have a high school diploma may be violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, says the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in an “informal discussion letter” posted on its website.
Experts warn that although the letter, posted Dec. 2, does not have the force of law, it could signal further EEOC activity in this area, and employers would do well to reconsider job requirements that include a high school diploma in light of the agency's interest in the issue.
Diploma out of reach for some
The letter, which was dated Nov. 17 and sent to an unidentified recipient, says, “You correctly point out that some individuals cannot obtain a high school diploma, and therefore cannot obtain jobs requiring a high school diploma, because their learning disabilities caused them to perform inadequately on the end-of-course assessment
“Under the ADA, a qualification, standard, test or other selection criterion, such as a high school diploma requirement, that screens out an individual or class of individuals on the basis of disability must be job-related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity…Thus, if an employer adopts a high school diploma for a job, and that requirement ‘screens out' an individual who is unable to graduate because of a learning disability, that meets the ADA's definition of ‘disability.'”
EEOC Informal Letter can be found here http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/foia/letters/2011/ada_qualification_standards.html
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