WASHINGTON—AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond issued the following statement in response to the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote today approving the bipartisan Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA). The legislation, introduced by Representatives Bobby Scott (VA-03), chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, and Rodney Davis (IL-13), would defend the rights of older workers and protect them against age discrimination in the workplace. LeaMond said:
“Today’s vote is a crucial moment for older workers who have waited more than a decade for legislation to restore fairness and protections against age discrimination. The strong bipartisan support for POWADA sends a clear message that discrimination in the workplace – against older workers or others – is unacceptable. Ageism is not only harmful to workers, but for companies too, who miss out on the experience and expertise older workers bring. Research shows that age-diverse workforces have a positive effect on employee engagement, productivity and the bottom line. On behalf of our nearly 38 million members, AARP applauds the House for passing POWADA and urges the Senate to consider this important legislation.”
According to an AARP survey, nearly 8 in 10 workers ages 40 to 65 reported having seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace during the pandemic.
POWADA was first introduced, with AARP backing, after an adverse 2009 Supreme Court decision (Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc.) that made it much more difficult for older workers to prove claims of illegal bias based on age. The legislation would restore longstanding protections for workers age 40 and older that had been in place since the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967.
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AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.