The New Jersey Assembly has recently passed legislation to confront New Jersey’s lack of protections against discrimination for workers over the age of 70. Now it is time for the New Jersey Senate to act swiftly to pass S-397 and get this bill to the governor’s desk. This change is long overdue. New Jersey lawmakers must use their votes to show older workers — and especially working women — that their experience and contributions are valued. Give working women a chance to fight for their financial security — and remove this antiquated barrier to rebuilding our state’s economy. Tell your New Jersey Senator to pass S-397 now.
Even before the pandemic, age discrimination was prevalent in the workplace. Our practice has seen a dramatic increase in the number of cases by employees who have experienced age discrimination on the job. As we continue to live longer and useful lives, we have seen an increase in people who have postponed retirement or abandoned the notion altogether. Yet, many studies reveal that over half of older workers were pushed out of longtime jobs, and most of these workers never go on to earn as much again. The record-breaking unemployment caused by the pandemic has only exacerbated the challenges for older workers and has made it even more difficult for older workers to keep and find jobs. Now more than ever, New Jersey lawmakers must fix the state’s age discrimination problem.
In June, New Jersey’s unemployment rate was 16.2%, the highest it’s been since 1976 and the second-highest of any state in the nation. But the news for older workers was even worse. The monthly unemployment rate for those 65 and older reached 15.6%, the highest level since records began in 1948.New Jersey needs all hands on deck if we are to recover from the devastating losses we have faced this year. We cannot continue to allow this arbitrary discrimination against our older workers. Join us in applauding the New Jersey Assembly, Speaker Coughlin and the bill sponsors Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle, Assemblywoman McKnight and Assemblywoman DeCroce for passing A-681, and urges the New Jersey Senate to pass S-397 now. Write to your lawmakers to ensure that New Jersey provides an equitable workplace for all generations. We must ensure that our residents — no matter their age or gender — can recover from this economic downturn. Now is the time to pass S-397 to be a champion for older workers.