As of 2018, 55% of Georgia workplaces had adopted mandatory arbitration policies
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is working across the aisle to protect Georgia seniors from age discrimination in the workplace.
Sen. Ossoff is working to bring Republicans and Democrats together to pass the Protecting Older Americans Act of 2023 to prevent employers from using forced arbitration against older workers seeking justice and accountability in cases of age discrimination.
According to a 2020 AARP survey, about 78% of older workers have either seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace—the highest level since AARP began tracking this statistic in 2003.
A New York Times report found that “more than 60 million American workers are subject to forced arbitration clauses in their employment contracts — often through fine print tucked into legal clauses of which the employees are unaware.”
“I am bringing Republicans and Democrats together to protect Georgia seniors from age discrimination in the workplace,” Sen. Ossoff said.
“Older workers who face age discrimination should have the option of having their case heard in court with the legal protections provided under the law,” said AARP Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Bill Sweeney. “Mandatory and binding arbitration clauses in contracts force employees to give up those rights, adjudicate disputes outside the courts, with fewer protections, and in forums often determined by the employer. AARP is pleased to endorse the Protecting Older Americans Act of 2023, which prohibits forced arbitration for age discrimination claims in the workplace.”
“Forced arbitration allows corporations to get away with illegal discriminatory behavior like firing employees based on their age,” said Linda Lipsen, American Association for Justice CEO. “As advocates for those employees facing age discrimination, we are proud to support this bill that would let the worker decide how to seek justice, instead of having that choice decided for them by corporation.”
“Ending the use of forced arbitration in cases of age discrimination will create safer work environments and protect millions of people,” said Gretchen Carlson, Co-Founder of Lift Our Voices. “The Protecting Older Americans Act builds off of the two laws we championed last year and is the next step for Lift Our Voices in its mission to create safer workplaces for all.”
“No one should ever be forced from a job because their employer thinks they have aged out,” said Julie Roginsky, Co-Founder of Lift Our Voices. “This bill ensures that older workers are free from the secret chamber of forced arbitration that exists to cover up behavior that harms older survivors.”
This is the latest step in Sen. Ossoff’s work to protect seniors.
Last year, in a U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing, Sen. Ossoff raised the challenges seniors in Albany face finding housing and highlighted the need for local, state, and Federal government policies to support the expansion of housing supply to serve American seniors in Georgia and nationwide.
Sen. Ossoff also co-sponsored the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021, which protected survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment from being forced into arbitration based on pre-dispute agreements. This bill was signed into law on March 3, 2022.
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