Taking on Age Discrimination

Yesterday, the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and Labor held a hearing to examine the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act.

This is a piece of legislation that would overturn the 2009 Supreme Court decision in the case of Gross v. F.B.L. Financial Services. It would restore rights for older workers that were stripped away by that ruling – which makes it very difficult for workers to prove that age discrimination did in fact occur in the work place.

You can read more about the hearing and see video of the testimonies from Jack Gross, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case, and AARP Board Member Gail Aldrich here.

We’ve discussed the Gross case in the past, and AARP has fully supported the legislation from the start. Aldrich said in her statement, “Older workers need effective age discrimination laws when employers choose to displace them based on their age, due to stereotypes or other forms of bias, rather than their performance or other legitimate business reasons.”

This is an extremely important battle for older workers…with the high level of unemployment and job insecurity for workers over the age of 50 – age discrimination in the workplace is a hurdle that no one should have to jump.