Monday, January 02, 2012

ADA Taken Too Far?

I understand, and support, the principles behind the Americans with Disabilities Act. Sometimes, though, people stretch that law beyond all bounds of reason:
Employers are facing more uncertainty in the wake of a letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission warning them that requiring a high school diploma from a job applicant might violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The development also has some wondering whether the agency’s advice will result in an educational backlash by creating less of an incentive for some high school students to graduate.
Hat tip to reader MikeAT for the link.


mrelliott said...

Do you get the feeling that some people have too much time on their hands? I mean, who thinks of these things?

Totally stupid IMHO!!

Happy Elf Mom said...

Darren, this actually makes sense. Imagine having a high school graduation requirement for baggers at the grocery store, or for stacking shelves.

I have disabled kids, and the job market sucks. When I read this, it sounded to me more about fairness and not trying to block people out just because they are disabled. Could you imagine in a truly free market economy, things getting so bad that your local grocery could require a masters' degree to stock shelves? You can HAVE a masters' and stock shelves, but a requirement is silly, elitist and yep, discriminatory.

Mind you, one of my autistic children is 16 and mostly illiterate but yet has a 2.56 GPA and is mostly mainstreamed. He would like his diploma even though he knows he will never go to college and will need the county to be his guardian after his 18th birthday. I can't see a mass exodus from high school unless the environment there is so crummy that this ruling *frees* certain students just to get out a little early.

I may be an idealist, but my experience has been that MOST children will do well if they can. :)

Anonymous said...

Math and I were never friends...hence my career vectored away from the sciences and medicine. My math disability kept me from becoming a doctor...I'll put that on my application to be an oncologist at the UCD Med Center. Thank you EEOC!!

Darren said...

Happy Elf Mom: While I understand your point, it further degrades what value is left to a high school education. Currently a bachelor's degree in many fields means "can stick to something for at least 4 years and knows something". You don't need me to tell you what a high school diploma signifies, and you want to prohibit store owners from finding employees with even those minimal traits necessary to graduate?

I'd be for giving a disabled person a different kind of diploma, but let's allow business owners to be "discriminating", which is very different from "discriminatory".

Matt Mangels said...

How about a law that says you can't require a college degree if the yearly salary of said job is below a certain amount of money? Maybe that's a bad idea on second thought. I really just came in here to complain about a recent job I saw listed on a Bay Area jobs website. Initially it was labeled as only requiring a High School Diploma but when I read the whole thing they said a Bachelor's degree was required. And do you know what the job was?

(drumroll please)

A door-opener at an apartment building. Seriously.

This is an issue I would like to have heard at least *once* from either party on the campaign trail so far.

Darren said...

What would you have candidates say on the topic, Matt? That employers shouldn't seek the most highly educated people they can?

Matt Mangels said...

I know it's a tough question, employers should be able to choose whomever they want. I would like to have seen some candidates talk about vocation programs and/or trade schools. If the situation has gotten to the point where no job is too menial or low-paying to require a degree, then we need to start funding programs to teach every day practical skills like plumbing, masonry, home repair etc. Hell, it seems to me like it would be a slam-dunk for any halfway decent politician: "these kids can't get jobs, that means they can't pay income taxes (due to not having income), this drives up the deficit, therefore let's start looking at non-college options for our nations' young people".