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EEOC Clarifies Its Position Regarding Employers’ High School Diploma Requirements

On November 17, 2011, the EEOC issued an informal opinion letter discussing potential violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a result of an employer’s requirement that applicants hold a high school diploma. Specifically, the EEOC opined 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, the employer may not apply the standard unless it can demonstrate that the diploma requirement is job related and consistent with business necessity. The EEOC further stated that 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 prevented him from obtaining a high school diploma can perform the essential functions of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation. More ›