June 14, 2019
The House Education and Labor Committee approved the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (H.R. 1230), which would make it easier for employees to show that discrimination or retaliation was a reason behind an employer’s decision to fire, demote, or take other adverse actions against them.
A memorandum analysis of the bill from Roger King, Senior Labor and Employment Counsel for HR Policy Association, noted the bill's unintended effects and how it would have a much broader application than is being indicated by its sponsors. He noted, “the only beneficiaries from H.R. 1230 would appear to be plaintiffs’ attorneys,” and the bill will increase litigation and settlement costs for retaliation claims where legitimate nondiscriminatory employment actions were taken.
The bill could also broaden other employment laws, despite its titular application to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
Three GOP amendments were rejected, and the bill was passed by the Committee with two GOP members voting for the measure.
Outlook: Although the bill will most likely pass the House, it will probably not be considered in the Senate.