Kelly backs legislation prohibiting age discrimination
State Sen. Kevin Kelly (R-21), ranking member of the General Assembly's Aging Committee, joined a bipartisan group of legislators and advocates Thursday, Jan. 16, to announce their support for a legislative proposal to prohibit employers from asking the age, date of birth, or graduation dates of job applicants, unless a particular age is an occupational qualification.
"Every person at any age should have the same opportunity to succeed and achieve the American Dream. Age should never be used against you when applying for a job. This is an issue of fairness," said Kelly. "I want to thank all the lawmakers who worked together to bring this proposed legislation forward including Senator Derek Slap and all the advocates supporting this proposal."
Kelly joined advocates from AARP, the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, The WorkPlace in Bridgeport, and the Seniors Job Bank to highlight the proposed legislation.
A 2018 AARP survey found about 60 percent of older workers have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace, and 76 percent of them see age discrimination as a hurdle to finding a new job. With 436,000 workers in their mid-50s, Connecticut has the sixth-oldest workforce in the nation.
“According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, older workers will make up the fastest-growing segment of the workforce from 2014 to 2024,” said Nora L. Duncan, state director for the AARP of Connecticut. “While age discrimination is illegal, we live in a society where age seems to be the last acceptable bias. Whether it’s intentional or not, knowing someone’s age can create bias that keeps a qualified job applicant from getting a fair chance at being considered for a position. This legislation reduces that risk and levels the playing field.”
The proposed legislation will be formally introduced once the session begins in February.