It is illegal to discriminate against a job applicant on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, age or disability. But it's perfectly legal to discriminate against potential employees who don't have college degrees.
In fact, it's grown increasingly common.
Many employers insist that someone have a bachelor's degree to be considered for jobs that a lot of people manage to do just fine without one. In practice, this excludes tens of millions of working-age people from the middle class.
Byron Auguste is the CEO of Opportunity@Work, a non-profit that aims to rewire the labor market so that individuals without four-year degrees can get good-paying jobs.
In an op-ed for The Post last week, he wrote that, while degree discrimination is not illegal, it should be considered a damaging bias that’s blinding companies to talent they need and reinforcing existing economic inequalities.
As an economist, Auguste sees this as a classic market failure.
Prior to co-founding Opportunity@Work in 2015, Auguste was Barack Obama’s jobs czar. He was Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Policy in the second term. His portfolio on the National Economic Council included job creation and labor markets, as well as skills and workforce development. Before that, he spent two decades at McKinsey, the consulting firm, where he was a senior partner.
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