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

UPDATED: Aug 1, 2015

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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


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

Answered 7 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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