Join AARP today. Get access to discounts, programs, services and information you need to benefit every area of your life.
From the AARP Bulletin Print Edition, November 1, 2010
Well-established laws to prevent age discrimination on the job suffered a blow last year when a Supreme Court ruling undermined that protection. Now, new legislation aims to level the workplace playing field for older employees.
In last year's case, Jack Gross v. FBL Financial Services, the court stated that workers need to bear a higher burden of proof to show age discrimination. Gross sued after he was demoted and his job was taken by a younger employee.
Before the Gross ruling, an employee had only to prove that age was one motivating factor in firings and demotions. But the Supreme Court held 5-4 that employees who sue their employers for age discrimination must establish that age was the deciding factor in such actions.
Dozens of Democrats — including Rep. George Miller of California and Sens. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Patrick Leahy of Vermont — are backing a bill called POWADA (Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act) that is working its way through the legislative process. Harkin and Leahy are attracting support from some Republicans.
AARP policy chief John Rother said that the Harkin-Leahy-Miller legislation is designed to restore the accepted interpretation of age discrimination in employment — one that businesses have worked with for years.
"At a time when a poor economy is resulting in a record number of age discrimination claims, it's urgent that this corrective legislation be passed," Rother said, adding that the bill is supported by business and aging advocates.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Visit the AARP state page for information about events, news and resources near you.
$300-$5,500 benefit on home purchases and sales
Members save 10% off the best available rate
No-fee personal loans
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
You'll start receiving the latest news, benefits, events, and programs related to AARP's mission to empower people to choose how they live as they age.
You can also manage your communication preferences by updating your account at anytime. You will be asked to register or log in.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at