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The Voice of the Black Community
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Poll: Age bias is getting old
Congress mulls anti-discrimination bill
Published Thursday, April 10, 2014 7:17 am
by Stephanie Carroll Carson, N.C. News Service

PERRY, N.C. – At age 58, Dick Hatch of Perry found himself laid off and in need of a job. 

Hatch is an attorney who applied for a position at a Raleigh company, and he said in spite of being qualified for the attorney position, he was not granted an interview. After filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, he interviewed for the job and got it. 

Now retired and in his 80s, Hatch has joined the 82 percent of voters over age 50 who support bipartisan legislation to fight age discrimination, according to an AARP survey.

"I think age discrimination exists even now, and maybe even more so," Hatch said. "The problem is, the law has changed."

Congress is considering legislation (HR-2852) that would overturn a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2009 that made it more difficult for older workers to prove claims of illegal bias based on age. The bill is currently in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, of which North Carolina Sens. Kay Hagan and Richard Burr are both members. 

According to AARP, older Americans who are laid off are out of work on average for 13 months, compared to under 60 days for their younger counterparts. Hatch said it is important for companies to realize that older Americans provide a depth of experience and knowledge that is still valuable in the workforce.

"The company that hired me, after my age discrimination and employment charge, I think they've improved substantially," Hatch said.

Until the 2009 Supreme Court ruling, if an older worker showed that age was one motivating factor in an employment decision, the employer had to prove it would have made the same decision without considering the employee's age. The legislation under consideration now would restore that standard.

The complete survey is available from AARP at states.aarp.org.



Age bias is alive and well and getting worse.
How do you address this when you can't get in the front door? What year did you graduate from College? Dah... I'm not a computer guy but, companies must have filters when receiving resumes to immediately exclude applicants that remember how to parallel park. WTF.
Posted on April 10, 2014

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