CONGRESSMAN BISHOP VOTES TO RESTORE WORKPLACE PROTECTIONS FOR OLDER AMERICANS
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) voted in support of H.R. 2062, the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, a bill he cosponsored. This bill would restore important and well-established workplace protections for older Americans that were weakened in 2009 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The bill passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 247-178 and now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
“Older Americans are an important part of the fabric of our country. Especially now as we rebound from this pandemic, we can rely on their experience and expertise to build back better. Unfortunately, sometimes age discrimination prevents older Americans from equal opportunities in the workplace. This vote helped restore protections that were stripped by an unprecedented Supreme Court decision and let’s older Americans know that we have got their backs,” said Congressman Bishop.
Before the Supreme Court’s ruling in Gross v. FBL Financial Services Inc., older workers alleging age discrimination in the workplace had to prove that age was simply one of the motivating factors behind the discrimination. This is the same burden of proof faced by those alleging discrimination on the basis of race, sex, national origin or religion.
However, in 2009, the Court upended decades of legal precedent by imposing a much higher burden of proof for older workers, requiring them to prove that age was the decisive and determinative cause of the discrimination. This bill would restore the standard for older workers back to the pre-2009 level – the same burden of proof required of all other workers alleging employment discrimination – and make it easier for older workers discriminated against to seek recourse in court.
In the 116th Congress, the House passed a nearly identical bill with a strong bipartisan vote.