Important New Age Discrimination Legislation
As we continue to struggle with a stalled economy, the statistics continue to demonstrate that age discrimination is a growing issue for both working mature workers and those seeking to find their next job. An AARP survey announced last year found that 60 percent of those surveyed aged 45 to 74 said that they had personally faced or observed age discrimination in the workplace. There were 24,582 age discrimination cases received by the EEOC (The Federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission) in Fiscal year 2008. In that same year, 21,415 were resolved providing $82.8 in monetary benefits for charging parties and other aggrieved individuals (not including monetary benefits obtained through litigation).
Last June, in the case of Jack Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc. the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision, stated that older workers bringing employment discrimination claims must meet a higher standard to prove their claims of illegal bias than others who have been subject to unfair discrimination at work, such as discrimination based on race or sex.
In response to what we believe to be an unfortunate and misguided court decision, Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with Representative George Miller Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee have introduced companion bills to restore the rights of mature workers. AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond said. “Their bill will protect older workers from being relegated to second class status when they try to vindicate their rights under the ADEA. Unless Congress passes this bill, too many older workers who have been victims of arbitrary age discrimination will be denied their day in court.”
We at Our ExperienceCounts.com strongly support this important legislation that reinstates mature workers rights under the (ADEA) The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. We recommend that you contact both your district representative and your two senators and let them know that this bill is one that should receive their vote.
Jeff Winters is the founder and CEO of OurExperienceCounts.com, the online community dedicated to providing the tools and support necessary for mature, experienced workers to extend their careers or make a career transition.