WASHINGTON — On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., ranking member of the Special Committee on Aging, applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for its passage of H.R. 1230, Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, which was introduced by Congressman Bobby Scott, D-Va.
The bill passed with the overwhelming bipartisan support of 227 Democratic and 34 Republican members and is a companion to Casey’s bipartisan bill. Both bills would restore critical protections in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act that would make it easier for employees to prove when they are a victim of age discrimination in the workplace.
“The Trump Administration is threatening to veto the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act claiming, ‘it would nullify decades of judicial precedent,’” said Casey. “Workplace discrimination shouldn’t be our precedent. This misguided threat is just another example of this Administration siding with corporations, who seek to escape accountability, instead of protecting American workers. POWADA would level the playing field for older workers and ensure they have the same ability to fight back against age discrimination as workers pursing discrimination cases based on race, sex, religion and national origin. I applaud my colleagues in the House for passing this important legislation and I urge my Senate colleagues to do the same. As more Americans are remaining in the workforce longer, we must make it clear to employers that age discrimination is unacceptable.”
In 2009, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Gross v. FBL Financial Services weakened the ADEA by imposing a significantly higher burden of proof on workers alleging age discrimination than is required of workers alleging other forms of workplace discrimination. As a result, workers that allege age discrimination must meet an undue legal burden not faced by workers alleging discrimination based on race, sex, national origin or religion.