Labor Leaders Introduce Bill to Protect Older Job Applicants

WASHINGTON – Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), House Committee on Education and the Workforce, reintroduced the bipartisan Protect Older Job Applicants (POJA) Act. The POJA Act protects older job applicants from employment discrimination at the application phase.  This year, the POJA Act is co-led by Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29), Congresswoman Maria Salazar (FL-27), and Congressman Jay Obernolte (CA-33).

Age discriminatory hiring practices are widespread. Derogatory stereotypes about older workers’ physical and cognitive health, personal ambition, and time flexibility are often embedded in hiring decisions made by managers. Older workers who can prove they have been discriminated against should be treated no less favorably by the courts than other workers challenging workplace discrimination.

“While Americans are often working later in life, many older workers are finding that their experience can count against them when applying for new jobs. Unfortunately, recent court decisions have excluded older job applicants from challenging hiring practices that appear neutral, but, in fact, result in a disproportionate, harmful impact on older workers,” said Ranking Member Scott.  “The Protect Older Job Applicants Act will help ensure that all older workers—regardless of whether they are looking for a job or already have one—are equally protected against age discrimination under the law.”

“Three-quarters of older workers view age discrimination as a hurdle to finding a new job. Forty-four percent of older applicants report being asked for age-related information when applying for a job. These numbers must change. As I always say back home, it’s all about the seniors. This bill is how we protect older job applicants everywhere and give people who want to work the full right to do so,” said Congresswoman Garcia. 

“Seniors make up a major part of Florida’s identity and economy, and we must ensure they have the ability to compete and succeed in today’s job market,” said Congresswoman Salazar. “I am proud to co-lead this legislation to protect seniors from discrimination in hiring. Seniors should not be penalized for pursuing dignity through work, regardless of their age.”

“Businesses in California’s 23rd District have a substantial number of job openings that our seniors have the skills and experience to fill,” said Congressman Obernolte. “All those who want to work should have the right and the opportunity to do so. I’m proud to help lead the Protect Older Job Applicants Act to ensure that our seniors are given a fair chance to apply for and fill open jobs in our community.”


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