The ability of some employers to require a high school diploma for all employees may be vanishing due to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruling that screening out applicants for certain jobs based only on a diploma may be discriminatory.
The basis behind this decision is that there are some individuals who, because of a learning disability, were unable to obtain a high school diploma. The EEOC has said that an employer may need to allow an applicant without a high school diploma to demonstrate qualifications for the job in other ways, such as work experience or the ability to perform the essential job functions. This will allow potential employees without a high school diploma to be competitive for jobs where the essential elements of the job could be performed regardless of degree status.
On the other hand, this requirement will not apply to jobs where an employer is able to demonstrate that the diploma requirement is job-related and consistent with business necessity. The EEOC has recognized that there will be positions where a high school diploma is an absolute necessity and employers need to be able to screen out applicants without the necessary credentials.
What this means is that if the necessary job functions of the position in question cannot be performed without a high school diploma, then an employer will be able to limit applicants based on that qualification requirement. Employers who want to determine what they should require for specific positions should consult an employment law attorney.
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