A New Jersey homeschool graduate applied for a job at a major hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When a hospital representative questioned her parent-issued diploma, she explained that her diploma was lawful. But the company that conducts the background checks on prospective employees for the hospital said they could not confirm the validity of the graduate’s diploma.

On behalf of this graduate, we wrote a letter to the hospital representative explaining that they could confidently accept the applicant since homeschooling is legal in New Jersey and parents have inherent authority to issue diplomas. We also drafted an affidavit confirming the authenticity of the diploma for the applicant’s mom to sign and submit.

The hospital replied that they were not able to resolve the issue. In an unwelcome development, they said they could no longer hold the job open.

New Strategy

We decided to add a new approach: to caution the background company that they could be in violation of the laws that apply to such organizations. Together with attorney Ted Hoppe, and we sent the company a letter explaining that their continued refusal to acknowledge the validity of the diploma could result in the applicant filing a formal challenge to the company’s action under applicable federal law.

Meanwhile, the applicant asked for support from a number of hospital employees who had come to know her over the years.

A few days later, the hospital offered the graduate the job! They apologized for the runaround, and said they would change their policy so something like this would not happen to future homeschool graduates who apply for jobs.