The Honorable Robert Casey
United States Senate
393 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Chuck Grassley
United States Senate
135 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senators Casey and Grassley:

On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I write to endorse your bipartisan bill, the “Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act.” Older Americans suffer from chronic job discrimination, and your important legislation would reestablish necessary legal protections giving them recourse in instances of age-based discrimination.

In the 2009 decision Gross v. FBL Financial Services, the Supreme Court raised the legal standard that older workers must meet to prove age-based discrimination. Under the standard set by Gross and subsequent decisions, a worker must definitively prove that age was the decisive factor in instances of workplace mistreatment. This standard is virtually impossible to meet, given the complexities and dynamics of the workplace. In essence, the Court ruled that some age discrimination is acceptable, as long as employers are able to conjure up another reason to justify their harmful actions.

Since the Court’s cruel decision, older workers have had to meet a higher standard of proof in discrimination cases than other protected classes, like plaintiffs in racial or gender-based discrimination claims. Your bipartisan legislation would restore protections for older workers by reestablishing the pre-Gross employment discrimination standard. The National Committee is proud to endorse this important legislation, and we look forward to seeing it become law.


Max Richtman
President and CEO