Fortune 500 Company NiSource Bans Homeschoolers From Applying to Jobs

NiSource, Inc., an Indiana-based energy distribution group with operations in Ohio, told the Home School Legal Defense Association that the company will not hire home-school graduates. In response to numerous letters written in an attempt to resolve a dispute over a particular job applicant whose job offer had been rescinded because he was home-schooled, NiSource Senior Counsel Adele O’Connor told me that NiSource “disagrees with the conclusions in your letter as to the legal requirements regarding a diploma. These requirements are set forth in Chapter 3313 of the Ohio Revised Code.”

However, this section of the code applies to public and chartered private schools, not home-schools. NiSource is wrongly using Ohio law as an excuse to defend its discriminatory hiring policy. There is simply no legal impediment to NiSource hiring a home-school graduate—especially the one in question here. Ohio law clearly recognizes home-schooling as a legal and valid educational option. To rescind an offer of employment to an otherwise qualified and experienced applicant who received a legally recognized education is unreasonable and discriminatory.

Well-Qualified

This applicant was offered a job initially, but NiSource withdrew the offer when it found out he had a home-school diploma. In addition to graduating from home-school in compliance with Ohio law, this applicant had years of relevant job experience and several key industry certifications. During his last two years of high school the applicant took seven courses at a recognized state college and made the dean’s list.

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 home-schooling as a legal and valid form of education.

HSLDA has been working with home-school advocates in Ohio to seek legislative action to prevent this kind of discrimination. The problem may indicate more than just discrimination against home-schoolers. This situation reflects the precise concern that motivates HSLDA’s opposition to the Common Core and its “college- and career-ready” standards—that qualified home-school graduates who don’t have a state-issued credential will be discriminated against in employment decisions.

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Source: Charisma News | MICHAEL DONNELLY/HSLDA

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