Stefanik Legislation Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Passes House

January 15, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik crossed the aisle and voted today in favor of the bipartisan Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination (POWADA) Act, legislation that she cosponsored alongside Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA).  The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was enacted in 1967 to prohibit discrimination against older workers, but the 2009 Supreme Court decision Gross v. FBL Financial Services weakened federal protections and made it more difficult for workers to prove age discrimination. This bill amends the ADEA to clarify that proven age discrimination may not play any role in employment decisions, reasserting the pre-2009 standard.

“I am proud to have cosponsored this important bipartisan legislation through its passage in the House,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “With one of the largest constituencies of seniors in the country, I have heard directly from my constituents who have been affected by age discrimination in the workplace. This bill levels the playing field for older workers by restoring the pre-2009 standards for age discrimination claims, giving our North Country seniors a fair chance and encouraging equal and ethical workplace behavior.”

"AARP applauds Representative Stefanik for her work to pass bipartisan legislation to help fight age discrimination in the workplace,” said AARP Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Bill Sweeney. “Older workers are a valuable asset to their employers and the economy, yet more than 6 in 10 report seeing or experiencing age discrimination on the job. We thank Rep. Stefanik for cosponsoring and helping to pass this common-sense, bipartisan bill."

Congresswoman Stefanik previously met with Jack Gross, the lead plaintiff in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, to discuss his experiences and the importance of this legislation.

Watch Congresswoman Stefanik speak on the House Floor in support of this legislation here.