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Diploma Mills Increase Financial Liability for Employers

By now, everyone should know that diploma mill degrees are bad news. But now employers have something else to be concerned about — liability.  

Employers who hire workers holding diploma mill degrees may open themselves up to hefty lawsuits if the employee makes a serious mistake that causes harm or significant loss to a customer or client. This scenario is not limited to the medical profession, but also affects those in a number of different industries or companies that provide services or products to the public.

In fact, the recent bridge collapse in Minneapolis initially focused upon the competence of workers on the bridge at the time. They were not found to be at fault; but their credentials and work were carefully scrutinized. Thorough screening of credentials for such jobs is paramount. Financial analysts, engineers, food inspectors, teachers and therapists are just a few fields that serve the public and could wreak havoc if armed only with  a fake college degree.

A diploma mill degree is a college degree that is generally purchased over the Internet for a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Little or no schoolwork is required; and the ’school’ is not accredited by a recognized accrediting body. Some diploma mills deceptively duplicate diplomas from recognized universities and call them ‘novelty degrees’ to get around the laws of the states in which they are sold.

Accredited online schools are not diploma mills. They are colleges and universities that have undergone a rigorous accreditation process and are held to the same high standards as accredited traditional schools in the same region of the country.

Employees can help protect themselves from diploma mill liability in the following ways:

-Set up standard procedures to be followed by hiring personnel in checking the educational qualifications of applicants. In court, the presence of these procedures will help to show that due diligence was performed in the hiring process for all employees.  

-Utilize the Department of Education website to find a listing of accredited colleges and universities in the United States. Carefully check the names; since diploma mills often choose names that sound like the names of accredited schools. For Ashwood University is a diploma mill, while Ashford University is a highly accredited university offering both online and on-campus degree programs.

-For industries that require professional certificates or graduation from vocational schools, employers should contact those who provide the particular industry certification and confirm the validity of the training programs listed on an applicant’s resume. 

-Contact colleges and universities directly to verify that the job candidate actually graduated from that educational institution.

-Learn more about diploma mills and how they hurt employers and the public.

By blocking their entrance into the workplace, employers will help to discourage potential workers from using this type of deception to gain employment and will hit diploma mills where it hurts — their wallets instead of yours.

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