Proposal could reduce age discrimination in the workplace

Older workers in Tennessee may face greater protection in the workplace if a bipartisan proposal makes its way through Congress and becomes a law. Sponsored by a Republican and a Democrat each in the House and Senate, the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act will make it less difficult for workers to claim age discrimination.

In 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that a worker had to demonstrate that they were fired or demoted because of age discrimination. Prior to that ruling, employers had borne the burden of giving a reason for dismissing or demoting older workers. If POWADA passes, employees will only be required to show that age discrimination occurred. Furthermore, they will only need to show that age discrimination was a factor in the employer's actions and not the entire reason for being dismissed or demoted.

While the Age Discrimination in Employment Act was put in place in 1967, enforcing it has been difficult. Age discrimination can take many forms and may include joking about a person's cognitive abilities or appearance. It can also happen during the hiring process. Employers may post job ads that have thinly veiled code words meant to only target younger applicants.

An older worker who believes they have experienced workplace discrimination based on age may want to consult an attorney to discuss what steps to take. Age discrimination can be something that is practiced on a company-wide basis, so there might be other employees or job seekers who are also affected. An attorney may explain how to document the discrimination, follow up through workplace channels and file a claim if the company is not responsive. The attorney may also help a client in negotiations with the company.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Free Consultation

Get Started With Your Free, No-Obligation Consultation

Let us be clear when we say "you pay us nothing unless we win." Your relationship with our law firm begins with a free consultation. You meet directly with one of our experienced lawyers. When you become our client, we never ask you to open your checkbook. We work on a contingency-fee basis, which means our fee only comes from the proceeds from a successful verdict or settlement.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

McCune Zenner Happell, PLLC The Parklane Building, 5200 Maryland Way Suite 120 Brentwood, TN 37027 Phone: 615-953-8337 Phone: 615-425-3476 Fax: 615-251-6958 Brentwood Law Office Map

  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers
  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Nation's Premier NAFBA Top Ten Ranking 2014