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What Congress’ new attempt to strengthen age bias laws means for employers

01/09/2024 10:06 AM | Valentina Dingle (Administrator)

Industry Dive Logo January 8, 2024

Federal lawmakers are once again pushing to bolster workplace anti-discrimination protections for older workers, meaning potentially increased legal liabilities for employers — but companies can still defend against claims with proper documentation, an attorney told HR Dive.

On Dec. 4, Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, also known by the acronym POWADA. The bill’s key provision is that it would amend federal law to clarify that a party may demonstrate that an unlawful employment practice occurred by showing that age, or any other protected characteristic or protected activity, motivated the unlawful practice.

A bill summary published by Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., calls this provision the “mixed-motive” test. POWADA has been introduced in Congress multiple times since its original 2009 proposal without success. A 2021 version of the bill passed the House that year but did not clear the Senate.

Read more HERE.

The Diversity Workforce Coalition comprises employers and other community members whose dual purpose is to promote diversity in the workplace through education, training, and enhanced networking opportunities, and to identify and connect resources to its members and the public.

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