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EEOC Clarifies Position on High School Diploma Requirement

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Late last year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) indicated that companies requiring employees to have a high school diploma could be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The resulting uproar has resulted in the agency issuing further guidance on the subject.

The controversy was started by an "informal discussion" letter from EEOC attorney Aaron Konopasky last December (here). Acknowledging that Konopasky's missive sparked "significant commentary and conjecture" about exactly where the agency stood on the issue, the EEOC has posted a series of questions and answers on its website.

Bottom line: Employers still have the option of requiring employees to be high school graduates. "However, the employer may have to allow someone who says that a disability has prevented him from obtaining a high school diploma to demonstrate qualification for the job in some other way," the agency says. The guidance emphasizes the fact that the ADA "only protects someone whose disability makes it impossible for him or her to get a diploma. It would not protect someone who simply decided not to get a high school diploma."

Want to know more? Read the full article by Tim Gould at HR Morning