Carney R. Shegerian, founder of Shegerian & Associates, a Santa Monica-based law firm specializing in employee rights, has issued a statement commending bipartisan legislation aimed at combating age discrimination and defending the rights of older individuals in the workplace.
The Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA), sponsored by Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), is designed to remedy a 2009 Supreme Court decision (Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc.) that made it more difficult for older workers to prove claims of illegal bias based on age. Representative George Miller (D-CA) has introduced a companion bill in the House.
“This Bill reflects an urgent need in today’s society and workplace,” said Shegerian. “Despite the fact that the average age of our workplace continues to grow, recent studies show that at least one-third of US workers have either seen age discrimination or been discriminated against themselves. Age discrimination in the workplace is a very serious issue today and we applaud the lawmakers attempting to help remedy the trend with important new legislation. The bottom line is that employers in the US cannot discriminate against their employees based upon their age – but this legislation could help remove barriers from proving that discriminatory behavior has taken place.”
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