Michelle Cohen Levy

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Proposed bill could strengthen protections for older workers

| Jan 15, 2020 | Workplace Discrimination |

Workers in Florida and across the United States continue to suffer from age discrimination on the job. Some members of Congress want to take action to improve the situation. The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on H.R. 1230, the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act. If adopted, the bill would amend the original Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibited employers from discriminating against workers age 40 and up. The bill being proposed would add clarity to the evidence that workers need to present in order to make a successful claim for workplace discrimination in court.

In particular, the proposed legislation would allow workers reporting discrimination to use any type of evidence as part of their claim. It would also make clear that employees making an age discrimination claim would not need to prove that their age or another protected characteristic was the only reason they were being mistreated at work. The proposed bill is a response to a Supreme Court decision that held that workers pursuing a legal case for workplace discrimination due to age must show that their age was the direct cause of the termination, denial of promotion or other negative workplace action.

Supporters of the bill say that it has both Democratic and Republican proponents, although both the House bill and its Senate counterpart have yet to get through the committee process. Several studies and investigations have highlighted the continuing prevalence of age discrimination in American workplaces, despite the fact that most people now say they expect they will continue to need to work after they turn 65.

When workers lose their jobs or are denied opportunities due to workplace discrimination, it can cost the victims thousands of dollars. An employment law attorney may advise people on how they can take action to pursue justice.