Thus, if an employer adopts a high school diploma requirement 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,” the employer may not apply the standard unless it can demonstrate that the diploma requirement is job related and consistent with business necessity. The employer will not be able to make this showing, for example, if the functions in question can easily be performed by someone who does not have a diploma.
Even if the diploma requirement is job related and consistent with business necessity, the employer may still have to determine whether a particular applicant whose learning disability prevents him from meeting it can perform the essential functions of the job, with or without a reasonable accommodation. It may do so, for example, by considering relevant work history and/or by allowing the applicant to demonstrate an ability to do the job’s essential functions during the application process. If the individual can perform the job’s essential functions, with or without a reasonable accommodation, despite the inability to meet the standard, the employer may not use the high school diploma requirement to exclude the applicant. However, the employer is not required to prefer the applicant with a learning disability over other applicants who are better qualified.
We hope this information is helpful. This letter is an informal discussion of the issues you raised and should not be considered an official opinion of the EEOC.
Yep, you read that right (or maybe you didn't. If you don't have a high school diploma, you probably didn't read that correctly. If you do have a high school diploma from a public high school, you still may not be able to read, and even simply being able to read doesn't mean you can comprehend, so you still may not have read it correctly). The government may begin cracking down on employers who demand a high school diploma!
Of course Zjabs feels any private employer should be able to discriminate at will, but alas, the government has said no. And now...it's looking to be more onerous than ever!
Eventually, as the weight of the government and its regulations causes it to crash down upon itself, people will come around to the logic of being libertarian. It's just so frustrating in the meantime.
-Zjabs (Rochester's Official Columnist)
© 2012 Zjabs - 4/13/12