State Sen. Derek Slap of West Hartford has been named an ‘Older Worker Champion’ by AARP of Connecticut.
The AARP of Connecticut has named state Sen.Derek Slap (D-West Hartford) an Older Worker Champion for leading the passage of a landmark bill fighting age discrimination in Connecticut.
Slap first introduced the bill in 2019 and was lead sponsor and advocate for three years, leading to its passage with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the Senate and House. The legislation prevents employers from asking for age-related information on initial job applications, specifically date of birth, employment attendance or graduation dates barring required occupational need, helping applicants get their foot in the door and increase their chances of success.
“I am honored to receive this award from AARP, and am glad that my colleagues and I were able to get this done,” said Slap. “We built a consensus, worked collaboratively, mobilized older workers, and partnered with the Senior Job Bank and AARP to pass this legislation. Beginning on Oct. 1 of last year, when it took effect, this key bill removes a key loophole, where employers cannot ask about a candidate’s age in the interview process but can do it on an application, from the hiring process.”
“AARP thanks Sen. Slap for his years of support to level the playing field for experienced workers,” said Nora Duncan, State Director of AARP Connecticut. “Job candidates should be judged on their experience and skills, not their date of birth or graduation date. Age discrimination against age 40-plus has been illegal in the U.S. for 50 years and Connecticut is now a leader in closing big loopholes in the hiring process.”
With Connecticut having the sixth-oldest population in the United States, a workforce where as many as 35% of workers are at least 50 and 61% of those surveyed by AARP either seeing or experiencing age discrimination – as well as 44% of those surveyed being asked age-related questions during the hiring process – taking steps to fight age discrimination is more important than ever.
With the bill’s passage in 2021, Connecticut became the fifth state, after California, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, to ban age questions during the hiring process, with other states considering similar legislation.
The AARP has several programs for experienced workers seeking career changes, including Encore!Connecticut, which assists professionals and managers aged 50 and older in transitioning from corporate work to nonprofit careers; scholarships for older students aged 50 and up enrolling in Connecticut community college manufacturing programs; and upcoming programs for experienced workers to improve their training in digital skills.
Workers who have experienced age-related discrimination during the hiring process should contact the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities to file a complaint by visiting the Commission’s website or calling the central office at 860-541-3400
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