Competitive Enterprise Institute | 1899 L ST NW Floor 12, Washington, DC 20036 | Phone: 202-331-1010 | Fax: 202-331-0640
The Washington Times was right to criticize the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  (EEOC ) for its recent letter claiming that it is illegal discrimination to require job applicants to have high school diplomas (“EEOC  undermines job creation,” Comment & Analysis, Jan. 3).
The EEOC ’s claim is lawless and part of a pattern of economically destructive assaults on employers. The claim that an employer must drop its diploma requirement just because a single learning-disabled applicant was unable to graduate conflicts with court rulings. Court decisions such as Coe v. Yellow Freight (1981) make clear that a “disparate-impact” discrimination claim cannot be based on the fact that a selection criterion screens out a single applicant or a small group of applicants.
This is just one of many unreasonable demands by the EEOC . The commission  recently threatened public safety by demanding that employers hire truckers with histories of heavy drinking and that they drop criminal background checks. These demands discourage hiring: If an employer is not allowed to hire based on merit, it may decide not to hire at all.