WASHINGTONA House Education and Labor Committee vote today approving the “Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act” (POWADA) was lauded by AARP as a key step toward enactment.
“The vote today puts us one step closer to restoring fairness for older workers who experience age discrimination,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president and chief advocacy & engagement officer, after the committee “mark-up.” “The legislation makes Congress’ intent clear that discrimination in the workplace – against older workers or others – is never acceptable.”
The markup represents the first Congressional committee vote on the POWADA legislation.
The bill (H.R. 1230) now advances to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
POWADA was first introduced – with strong AARP backing – after a 2009 Supreme Court decision (Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc.) that made it harder for older workers to prove claims of illegal bias based on age.
POWADA would restore fairness for older workers by treating age discrimination just as seriously as other forms of workplace discrimination. It would restore longstanding protections under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
AARP research has found that more than three in five older workers report that they have experienced or seen age bias in the workplace.
The Education and Labor Committee vote follows a Committee hearing on May 21st that considered POWADA as part of deliberations titled “Eliminating Barriers to Employment: Opening Doors to Opportunity.” AARP Foundation Senior Attorney Laurie McCann, testifying on behalf of AARP, called on Congress “to enact POWADA immediately.”
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.