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Rep. Cartwright Votes to Protect Older Americans from Workplace Discrimination

Jan 15, 2020
Press Release


Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) issued the following statement after voting on the House floor to pass the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (H.R. 1230):

“Rising living costs are putting pressure on older Americans to extend their careers longer than ever before. At the same time, many are being pushed out of their jobs before they are financially secure enough to retire,” said Rep. Cartwright. “This bill restores strong protections for older workers, enabling them to fight back against age discrimination and demand the dignity and respect in the workplace they deserve.”

In 2009, the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc. overturned decades of legal precedent by making it harder for older workers to hold employers accountable for workplace discrimination. While workers seeking to prove discrimination based on race, sex, nationality, and religion only have to demonstrate that discrimination was just one factor in an adverse employment action, such as being terminated or demoted, workers seeking to prove age discrimination must demonstrate that discrimination was the sole motivating factor for their termination or demotion.

A 2018 survey conducted by the AARP found that 3 in 5 workers age 45 and older had seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace. The 2018 survey also found that three-quarters of older workers blame age discrimination for their lack of confidence in being able to find a new job. The Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act addresses these issues by providing the same legal protections against age discrimination as those that exist for discrimination based on race, sex, nationality, and religion.