Disparate Impact Opinion from EEOC Regarding Employer’s Hiring Requirement for a High School Diploma

An opinion letter from the EEOC was recently released which addresses the American’s with Disability Act (ADA) and hiring practices. In effect, it states that an employer may not have a high school diploma requirement for a job if that requirement eliminates an individual who is unable to obtain a high school diploma because of a learning disability that meets the ADA’s definition of disability. Any hiring criteria that would cause a disparate impact on persons with disabilities can only be maintained if it is job related and a necessity.

The letter goes on to state that “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.

View the opinion letter here: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/foia/letters/2011/ada_qualification_standards.html

 

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