An Ohio man said he was recently offered a job at an energy distribution company only to have the offer withdrawn due to a conflict over home-schooling.
The applicant was offered a job initially, but NiSource, an Indiana-based company, withdrew the offer when it found out he didn't have a traditional high school diploma or GED, but was home-schooled through high school instead, his attorney said.
Michael Donnelly, an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association, wrote in a blog post that the applicant, who has not been publicly identified, had graduated as a home-schooler in compliance with Ohio law; had years of relevant job experience; several industry certifications; and several college classes under his belt that he took while completing high school courses.
"Although we are usually able to resolve problems related to home-school diplomas with employers and higher education officials, many human resources or admissions officials misunderstand Ohio law which recognizes homeschooling as a legal and valid form of education," Donnelly wrote.
NiSource maintained that it is in accordance with Ohio law requiring an official diploma or GED, but Donnelly argued that the code the company cites applies to public and chartered private schools and it is being wrongly used "as an excuse to defend its discriminatory hiring policy."
"Ohio law clearly recognizes home schooling as a legal and valid educational option," Donnelly continued. "To rescind an offer of employment to an otherwise qualified and experienced applicant who received a legally recognized education is unreasonable and discriminatory."
A spokesman for the company told TheBlaze in an email that it cannot discuss individual employment circumstances but noted that in some states a GED or official state-issued high school diploma might be required.
"To be clear, NiSource is happy to hire qualified home-schooled candidates as part of our team. In fact, among our 8,000+ current employees, we are proud to have colleagues and coworkers who were home-schooled or received other non-traditional educations. We value them as strong, skilled contributors to our organization. To state our position otherwise is factually inaccurate and misleading," company spokesman Mike Banas told TheBlaze.
Banas said NiSource wishes to hire qualified people who will contribute to the success of the company.
"To achieve that goal, we do our best to provide fair and consistent hiring criteria for all available positions. The fact is, when it comes to positions that require only a high school education, some of the states in which we operate have different rules regarding certification of home school and other non-traditional forms of study," he said. "For example, some states do not certify home school diplomas but suggest that students secure a GED or other evidence of certification. For instance, the Ohio Department of Education specifically notes that when looking for employment or pursuing advanced education, home-schooled students may need to complete the GED."
Banas said that job offers made by the company are contingent on a background check, which include education and employment history.
Donnelly said that the Home School Legal Defense Association supports the right of companies to set their own hiring standards, but it still believes NiSource's policy is a "narrow-minded and statist view of education that is inconsistent with the values of a free society."
Donnelly said situations like this are why the Home School Legal Defense Association is against the Common Core and its standards because it believes "home-school graduates who don’t have a state-issued credential will be discriminated against in employment decisions."
(H/T: Fox News)
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