If you are learning disabled and can’t get a high school diploma, what are you supposed to do if an employer requires a high school diploma for a job?
This was the question that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently grappled with, reports Employer Brief.
The major implication of the clarifying letter (originally available here), noted Employer Brief, is not that it is now illegal to require a high school diploma. Instead, an employer can still require a high school diploma, just that someone who can’t get a high school diploma because of a learning disability needs to be allowed to show their competence in another way.
This discussion comes to us due to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and shows how complicated the arena of employment law is (expanding to include learning disabilities in school).
Disability discrimination violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA protects "qualified individuals with a disability" from discrimination in employment. An individual with a disability is qualified if he or she has "the requisite skill, experience, education and other job-related requirements" for the job.
To be protected under the ADA, a disability must be considered a substantial (as opposed to minor) impairment. This would include impairments that significantly limit speaking, seeing, hearing, walking, performing manual tasks, breathing or similarly major life activities.
Also, you must be qualified to adequately perform the essentials of the job, whether or not you require a reasonable accommodation, in order to be covered by the ADA. That means you must fulfill the requirements for the job (education, experience, skills, etc.) and you must be able to perform the essential functions of the position.
To learn more about the ADA, please check out the resources below or speak to a qualified Houston area employment attorney.