Rep. Delgado Votes to Combat Discrimination Against Older Workers

June 23, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) joined Republicans and Democrats to pass the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act. This bill ensures older workers have the tools to fight back against age discrimination by restoring the same legal protections against age discrimination as those that exist for discrimination based on race, sex, nationality, and religion.

“60 percent of older Americans have seen or experienced age discrimination while on the job -- it is unacceptable,” said Rep. Delgado. “I was proud to join colleagues from both sides of the aisle to pass the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, which amends the law to ensure older workers have the workplace protections they deserve. This legislation will help provide job security for Americans across the country, allowing them to continue providing for their families in a rapidly changing economy.”

The Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act is a, “bipartisan, commonsense bill that would restore fairness for older workers,” said the AARP. “The bill reinstates well-established legal standards on workplace discrimination undermined by the 2009 Supreme Court decision in Gross vs. FBL Financial Services, Inc. and subsequent discrimination cases. POWADA would help level the playing field for older workers and restore their legal rights. Older Americans have waited for a decade for this legislation to be enacted”

Prior to 2009, older workers alleging age discrimination had to demonstrate that age discrimination contributed to an adverse action taken against them by an employer. This is consistent with proving other types of discrimination, including discrimination based on race, sex, or religion. In 2009, the Supreme Court erected a new legal barrier, requiring the employee to show that age is the sole factor contributing to an adverse action by the employer. The Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act restores the pre-2009 standard.

The bill is supported by numerous organizations, including AARP, NAACP, National Urban League, Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, Alliance for Retired Americans, AFL-CIO, National Council on Aging, American Society on Aging, Asociacion Nacional Pro Personas Mayores, National Alliance for Caregiving, Caring Across Generations, Medicare Rights Center, The Gerontological Society of America, LeadingAge, Justice in Aging, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, National Association of Social Workers, National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Association of Jewish Aging Services, National Adult Day Care Services Association, National Indian Council on Aging, National Senior Corps Association, AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, Center for Eldercare Improvement – Altarum, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, Pension Rights Center, Social Security Works, American Postal Workers Union Retirees Department, Association for Gerontology and Human Development in HBCUs, and Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement.