Lawmakers Reintroduce Age Discrimination Bill

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer May 23, 2023

​Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, D-Va., reintroduced bipartisan legislation to protect older job applicants from employment discrimination. 

Scott was joined in proposing the Protect Older Job Applicants Act by Rep. Sylvia R. Garcia, D-Texas; Rep. Maria Salazar, R-Fla.; and Rep Jay Obernolte, R-Calif.

"While Americans are often working later in life, many older workers are finding that their experience can count against them when applying for new jobs," Scott said. "Unfortunately, recent court decisions have excluded older job applicants from challenging hiring practices that appear neutral, but, in fact, result in a disproportionate, harmful impact on older workers."

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the previous version of the bill in November 2021, clarifying that external job applicants can bring disparate impact discrimination claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. It was not taken up in the Senate.

We've rounded up articles from SHRM Online to provide more context on the news.

SHRM Research Reveals Age Discrimination in the Workplace

One-third of HR professionals say an applicant's age played a role in decisions made during the hiring process.

(SHRM Online)

Why Hiring Baby Boomers Still Matters

Employers in the U.S. are desperate to find and retain reliable workers in an increasingly unsteady economy. In doing so, many HR professionals have focused on recruiting younger workers, who are perceived as technologically proficient, but there is a huge population of workers being overlooked—Baby Boomers.

(SHRM Online)

Companies Renew Efforts to Retain, Hire Older Workers

Improved health and safety, better wages, mentorships, and flexible schedules attract older workers who left their jobs during the pandemic.

(SHRM Online)

What Does It Take to Prove Age Discrimination?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that a federal employee claiming age discrimination has to show only that age was a motivating factor—rather than the key reason—in an employer's adverse employment decision. But the available remedies may be limited if the employer would have taken the same action anyway for nondiscriminatory reasons.

(SHRM Online)

Age Discrimination Persists

More than 50 years after Congress made it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers age 40 or older, data analysis by the Urban Institute and ProPublica shows that more than half of older U.S. workers are pushed out of longtime jobs before they choose to retire.

(SHRM Online)



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