Can a company require you to have a degree to apply if current employees in the position do not have one?

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Can a company require you to have a degree to apply if current employees in the position do not have one?

Asked on August 1, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that not all employment discrimination is illegal. Employees need not be treated the same or even fairly as a general rule. The exception is if discrimination is based on a person's being in a legally "protected class". In other words, you cannot discriminate against someone due to their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability or age.

So unless your treatment is based on one of the above classes or your employer's actions violate exisiting company policy, a union agreement, an employment contract or the like, requiring applicants to have a degree is perfectly legal. For the most part, employers can set the terms and conditions of employment much as they see fit.


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