[Congressional Record Volume 167, Number 193 (Wednesday, November 3, 2021)]
[House]
[Pages H6158-H6167]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                PROTECT OLDER JOB APPLICANTS ACT OF 2021

  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 716, I call 
up the bill (H.R. 3992) to amend the Age Discrimination in Employment 
Act of 1967 to prohibit employers from limiting, segregating, or 
classifying applicants for employment, and ask for its immediate 
consideration.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 716, in lieu of 
the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the 
Committee on Education and Labor, printed in the bill, an amendment in 
the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee 
Print 117-14 is adopted and the bill, as amended, is considered read.
  The text of the bill, as amended, is as follows:

                               H.R. 3992

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Protect Older Job Applicants 
     Act of 2021'' or ``POJA Act of 2021''.

     SEC. 2. PROHIBITION AGAINST LIMITING, SEGREGATING, OR 
                   CLASSIFYING APPLICANTS FOR EMPLOYMENT.

       Section 4(a)(2) of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act 
     of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 623(a)(2)) is amended--
       (1) by inserting ``or applicants for employment'' after 
     ``employees'', and
       (2) by inserting ``or as an applicant for employment'' 
     after ``employee''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The bill, as amended, is debatable for 1 
hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority 
member of the Committee on Education and Labor or their respective 
designees.
  The gentlewoman from Oregon (Ms. Bonamici) and the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Good) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Oregon.


                             General Leave

  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and 
insert extraneous material on H.R. 3992, the Protect Older Job 
Applicants Act of 2021.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Oregon?
  There was no objection.
  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Protect Older Job Applicants 
Act of 2021.
  Protecting all workers from workplace discrimination is of the utmost 
importance. Unfortunately, older workers have disproportionately been 
affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with more workers over the age of 65 
leaving the workforce in 2020 than in any year over the last six 
decades.
  The Protect Older Job Applicants Act of 2021 would help address 
discrimination older workers face in the hiring process, and it is an 
especially important step toward helping older workers reenter the 
workforce as the Nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  Currently, the disparate impact provision in the Age Discrimination 
in Employment Act, the ADEA, covers older employees seeking relief from 
age discrimination, but not older job applicants. The bill we are 
considering today would clarify the disparate impact provision and make 
clear that older job applicants, not just older employees, are 
protected.
  This bill is a commonsense fix to the ADEA that would help protect 
workers from ageist hiring practices. I urge my colleagues to support 
this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record a Statement of Administrative 
Policy in support of H.R. 3992, the Protect Older Job Applicants Act of 
2021.

                   Statement of Administration Policy


H.R. 3992--Protect Older Job Applicants Act of 2021--Rep. Garcia, D-TX, 
                           and 62 cosponsors

       The Administration supports House passage of the Protect 
     Older Job Applicants (POJA) Act of 2021. The legislation 
     would amend the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) 
     of 1967, which prohibits, among other actions, age-based 
     discrimination in hiring, to specifically prohibit employers 
     from limiting, segregating, or classifying job applicants on 
     the basis of age.
       The POJA Act of 2021 provides a critical clarification to 
     support older Americans during recruitment and hiring, 
     ensuring the ADEA's nondiscrimination protections extend 
     fully to older job applicants.
       Workplace age discrimination, including at the application 
     stage, prevents people from fully accessing the American 
     dream and limits the contributions that they can make to our 
     shared prosperity. Ensuring equitable access to employment is 
     a priority for the Administration. The Administration 
     supports this legislation that protects older job applicants.
  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GOOD of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 3992, the more 
appropriately named profiting off of older job applicants act.
  This, like so many other Democrat proposals, is a trial lawyer payout 
disguised as a win for older workers. Democrats are addicted to 
inventing problems that fit their slanted narrative of American life. 
To liberal Democrats, older workers are vulnerable employees who can't 
cut it in the modern economy, and that could not be further from the 
truth. In fact, employment for workers ages 65 and older tripled from 
1988 to 2018, the last 30 years, while employment for younger workers 
only grew by a third.
  During that same time, the number of workers aged 75 and older nearly 
quadrupled. Despite what Democrats may have you believe, there are 
several existing laws already protecting Americans of all ages against 
discrimination in the workplace.
  One of those legal protections which today's bill would amend is the 
Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1967, or the ADEA. It 
prohibits employment discrimination based on age for job applicants and 
employees at least 40 years old and up, as it should. Discrimination is 
wrong. It is immoral, and it must be vigilantly addressed.
  But this bill radically expands the definition of discrimination 
against

[[Page H6159]]

older job applicants by authorizing claims against a disparate impact 
theory; again, what happens, not what is intended by the employers. 
This needlessly interferes with employers' routine recruitment and 
hiring practices.
  The ADEA already prohibits discrimination against job applicants, but 
the ADEA does not authorize disparate impact claims by job applicants.
  Congress has long recognized that addressing different forms of 
discrimination require different laws. For example, Congress did not 
include age in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 but passed a separate and 
distinct law in 1967 prohibiting age discrimination; once again, the 
ADEA.
  Yet, H.R. 3992, this bill, abandons congressional precedence and 
imprudently allows disparate impact claims by job applicants under the 
ADEA. The most destructive impact of this bill would be the assault on 
existing programs that employers are using all across the country which 
creates job opportunities for workers, students, and prospective 
employees.

                              {time}  1645

  Under this bill, routine recruiting efforts at high schools, Job 
Corps centers, and colleges, including job fairs, would be legally 
suspect because these students are typically younger, on average.
  In addition, simply posting a job opening on a job search website 
could land an employer in a world of trouble because users of those 
websites tend to be younger.
  Apprenticeship and internship programs would also be threatened 
because the participants tend to be younger, and employers tend to hire 
full-time employees from these programs.
  These examples are not mere speculation. The AARP, one of the 
Democrats' favorite big donors, has already backed class action 
litigation challenging college recruitment as violating the ADEA.
  If this bill is enacted into law, a tsunami of lawsuits attacking 
these valuable and effective programs would follow, putting millions of 
job opportunities in jeopardy and forcing employers into court to 
defend them. But that is what our friends across the aisle seem to 
want.
  Endangering hiring practices, when there are over 10 million unfilled 
jobs, flies in the face of common sense and good governance. Surely, my 
Democrat colleagues know better.
  They should also be aware of their own hypocrisy, as I can assure you 
that every Member of Congress has recruited from colleges, 
universities, or on job search sites to fill staff and intern 
positions, the vast majority of which have been hires of younger age.
  By failing to hold even a single hearing on this bill and refusing to 
adopt any commonsense Republican amendments, Democrats exposed their 
true intentions, to rush through yet another piece of misguided 
legislation to appease the left.
  Additionally, Democrats refused to allow floor debate on commonsense 
amendments offered by Republicans to protect job opportunities for 
workers and determine whether the bill is even necessary.
  For example, Representative Miller-Meeks submitted an amendment to 
make sure the bill does not prohibit an employer from recruiting or 
interviewing students attending high schools, Job Corps centers, 
colleges, or universities.
  Representative Allen submitted an amendment to ensure the bill does 
not prohibit employers from operating apprenticeship or internship 
programs, and Representative Letlow submitted an amendment to protect 
employers' ability to post job openings on job search websites.
  If this were truly about crafting high-quality legislation that 
protects older job applicants, then this bill's sponsors should have 
been clamoring for a thorough and bipartisan analysis of this bill.
  This legislation was first introduced in June of this year and 
considered by the committee only a month later. Now, we are here 
debating it on the floor without any meaningful review.
  Because H.R. 3992 was rushed through the legislative process, we 
cannot even begin to understand its sweeping and unintended 
consequences. But what we do know about this bill should concern every 
Member of this body.
  The profiting off older job applicants act will jeopardize job 
opportunities for millions of Americans, both young and old, and will 
make the Democrats' trial lawyer friends yet richer, once again.
  Congress and the Supreme Court have long recognized that different 
forms of discrimination require different legal solutions. This bill 
abandons that precedent and will not only set off a slew of legal 
challenges, but it will also hamstring our job creators attempting to 
rebuild during a once-in-a-century pandemic and inflation crisis.
  Mr. Speaker, I strongly urge a ``no'' vote on this misguided 
legislation, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to correct the record on a couple of 
points. In fact, the committee did have a hearing on this subject on 
March 18, 2021, in the Subcommittee of Civil Rights and Human Services. 
It was a hearing called ``Fighting for Fairness: Examining Legislation 
to Confront Workplace Discrimination.''
  Additionally, my colleague's argument simply misstates the law with 
regard to places like college campuses or online recruitment. For 
example, employers will always have the freedom to choose the time, 
place, and manner in which they recruit. Whether it be on a college 
campus or LinkedIn, employers face no risk of liability if they can 
show it was based on reasonable factors other than age, such as a 
larger pool of highly trained individuals from which to recruit.
  The argument that anyone who wasn't available to be recruited on 
LinkedIn or enrolled in college would be able to sue an employer for 
age discrimination is a misunderstanding of this law, Mr. Speaker.
  Finally, Title VII has outlawed disparate impact discrimination since 
1972. If there are any doubts that these sorts of laws would wipe out 
recruiting practices, we would have seen those consequences. In fact, 
this law is to correct a couple of circuits that have gone a different 
way from the rest of the country. In 9 out of 11 circuits, it is 
already the law. So any parade of horribles that my colleague is 
suggesting, we would have seen that already and we have not.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. 
Garcia), the sponsor of the bill.
  Ms. GARCIA of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of my bill, H.R. 
3992, the Protecting Older Job Applicants Act of 2021.
  I want to start by thanking my Republican co-lead on this bill, the 
dean of the House, Congressman   Don Young of Alaska. I also want to 
thank Chairman  Bobby Scott, my Democratic co-lead, for his tireless 
leadership to protect all workers, but especially older workers and 
older jobseekers.
  Mr. Speaker, this bill will fix a loophole in current law that fails 
to protect older job applicants during the hiring process.

  Despite what many people assume, older job applicants are not 
protected under the current Age Discrimination in Employment Act 
protections, commonly called ADEA.
  Mr. Speaker, my bill seeks to fix this. This bill would allow older 
job applicants to bring claims for disparate impact discrimination 
hiring against employers.
  While that may sound like legal technicalities and legal mumbo-jumbo 
to some people watching back home, Mr. Speaker, disparate impact claims 
are very, very important. They are important because some hiring 
practices might seem age-neutral on their face, but they actually 
impact job applicants that are older disproportionately.
  The bill would clarify the Age Discrimination in Employment Act to 
give job applicants the right to bring these claims forward. Three-
fourths of workers age 45 and older blame age discrimination for their 
lack of confidence in finding a new job.
  But it is not just simple statistics. It is about real people and 
real stories.
  It is like one of my neighbors, an engineer who can't find meaningful 
work after losing his job. He is about 60, but he is always told he is 
too experienced and overqualified. But he says it is all about his age.
  It is about Rebecca in California, who is age 75, forced to provide 
her birth

[[Page H6160]]

date on a web-based job application where the year of her birth isn't 
even an option on a drop-down menu for the birth year. So she can't 
even apply, because the options don't include the year of her birth.
  It is like Carolyn in Tennessee, age 52. She was let go from her job 
in March of last year. She has filed 65 job applications but gotten 
zero interviews. She has a BS in business finance and an MA in 
educational administration. She says people half her age are getting 
those jobs instead. She was told she needed more recent, relevant 
experience.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record an article sharing Carolyn's 
story entitled ``Older job seekers find experience, education may not 
be enough in pandemic.''

              [From NewsChannel5 Nashville, Jan. 12, 2021]

   Older Job Seekers Find Experience, Education May Not Be Enough in 
                                Pandemic

                            (By Levi Ismail)

       Nashville, Tenn. (WTVF).--Older workers are having trouble 
     making it back into the workforce and studies show it's part 
     of a trend we haven't seen in nearly 50 years.
       In the first six months of the pandemic, older workers (55 
     and older) were 17 percent more likely to become unemployed 
     than their slightly younger peers.
       Carolyn McKeown is 52 years old, but says she hasn't had 
     much luck finding a job in the nearly one year it's been 
     since she was let go back in March 2020. She first reached 
     out to us in September and since then, she's filed 65 
     applications with zero interviews. It's just finding the 
     right time and the right place,'' McKeown said.
       McKeown has a Bachelor's degree in business and finance, as 
     well as a Master's degree in educational administration. For 
     decades she's worked in HR, insurance, and mortgage lending, 
     which she thought could be a valuable experience to any 
     prospective employer.
       When jobs continued to turn her down, she began surveying 
     anyone who made the time to listen. McKeown asked how these 
     people half her age were getting jobs and many of them 
     explained that it was simply an option right out of school.
       ``I feel as though we're being scrutinized more heavily and 
     told that we need recent relevant experience, as though we've 
     never worked before,'' McKeown said:
       The US Census Bureau found that for the first time in 
     nearly 50 years, jobseekers (55 and older) are facing higher 
     rates of unemployment than those a few years younger. They 
     also found that older workers stayed unemployed longer. 
     Tennessee Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development explains how 
     it works.
       ``This program right here can help a senior make themselves 
     more marketable or maybe upgrade an existing skill or teach 
     them an entirely new skill,'' Cannon said.
       Cannon explains that these may not all be full-time jobs, 
     but they are jobs capable of helping someone earn an income 
     at a time where the money is tight.
       McKeown is at the point where she's barely managing to pay 
     her bills. She's tapped out her savings and can no longer 
     afford health insurance. Not unlike the many other older 
     workers who now can't imagine the idea of voluntary 
     retirement.
       That said, she's not looking for anything part-time or 
     without benefits. She acknowledges that some of her 
     qualifiers may keep her from getting certain jobs, but 
     McKeown says she knows her worth. Under a much different 
     time, her credentials could have landed her a high-paying job 
     with benefits. She's not expecting the same pay as before, 
     but McKeown says she should be afforded similar opportunities 
     she knows are out there.
       For McKeown, she knows some employers think it's too 
     expensive to train an older worker in this more virtual 
     workforce. She says she's learning every day how to keep up, 
     so this stigma that older workers are somehow less capable is 
     the only thing outdated.
       ``How do they determine what the job applicant is lacking. 
     A job gap doesn't mean you lack the skills. It just means 
     you're lacking time,'' McKeown said.


                          What is the rebound?

       As Middle Tennessee works to rebound from the impact of the 
     Coronavirus, we want to help. Whether it's getting back to 
     work, making ends meet during this uncertain time, or 
     managing the pressure, we're committed to finding solution. 
     In addition, we want to tell your stories of hope, 
     inspiration, and creativity as Middle Tennessee starts to 
     rebound.
  Ms. GARCIA of Texas. Mr. Speaker, another story. Diana, age 53, was 
forced to take early retirement after her company downsized. She wasn't 
ready to quit working, but she hasn't found a job.
  The loaded question in the application, she says, is always: When did 
you graduate from high school? This question tells her age. Because of 
that, she has gotten no interviews.
  These folks are not alone. I want to read some comments from other 
jobseekers in their 50s about their experience job hunting:
  ``No jobs for older people.''
  ``Jobs for seniors 60 plus who still want to work are not so 
plentiful in rural communities.''
  ``Age discrimination is alive and well in the job market.''
  ``No one hires old people.''
  ``I am 63 with no job . . . still trying to find work.''
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record an article entitled: ``I'm not 
dead: Inside the struggle of finding work after 50 in North Texas.''

           [From the Dallas Business Journal, Feb. 11, 2019]

 `I'm Not Dead': Inside the Struggle of Finding Work After 50 in North 
                                 Texas

                           (By Jason Wheeler)

       The good news first: Diana Hinton's dog Maxwell has been on 
     a lot of walks lately. The bad news: She's had time for that.
       Hinton's employer of almost three decades downsized, and 
     she had to take early retirement long before she was ready.
       A recent data analysis by Pro Publica and the Urban 
     Institute found that early retirements are often not as 
     voluntary as they sound. The analysis also found that 
     shockingly high percentages of workers over 50 are forced out 
     of their jobs before they can reach retirement age.
       On one of those frequent walks with Maxwell, Diana Hinton 
     told us she and her dog thought their outings would be for a 
     limited time only.
       ``I think the first few weeks he was looking at me like 
     aren't you going somewhere?'' Hinton said.
       Those few weeks became a few years.
       When we talked to her in September 2018, Diana was busy 
     going about her usual routine of filling out applications 
     online and sending out resumes. Often, she found herself 
     paining over that dreaded question on the application form.
       ``Here we go . . . `when did you graduate high school?' 
     Which I hate because I know they start adding in their 
     heads--she's gotta be in her 50s,'' Hinton said.
       She was 53 at the time. When we talked to her, we had just 
     begun a series of reports on the middle class called ``Stuck 
     in the Middle.''
       On social media, we heard from so many people in the 50-
     plus age group talking about the difficulty of finding 
     employment. A sampling of the messages:
       ``. . . No jobs for older people.''
       ``Jobs for seniors 60+ who still want to work are not so 
     plentiful in the rural communities.''
       ``Age discrimination is alive and well in the job market.''
       ``No one hires old people.''
       ``I am 63 with no job . . . still trying to find work . . 
     .''
       Many respondents also bolstered another of the findings 
     made by Pro Publica and the Urban Institute--that being 
     derailed so close to retirement age is devastating to 
     retirement plans. A sampling of the messages about how long 
     people will have to work:
       ``I'm still working at 78.''
       ``. . . gonna die working.''
       ``Looks like I'm working full time until dead, and leaving 
     nothing behind.''
       ``Foreverrrrrrrrrrrrr . . .''
       ``Till the end.''
       ``We don't even talk about retirement age anymore,'' said 
     Claire Turner, deputy director of the Elder Financial Safety 
     Center at The Senior Source. ``People are wanting to work as 
     long as they can. So they get the question in the interview 
     where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself 
     working.''
       The Senior Source specifically helps people 50 and over to 
     search for jobs. They offer free resume workshops, conduct 
     mock job interviews, and teach software and social media 
     classes, among other things.
       Each year, the center helps as many as 2,000 older workers, 
     and Turner said, unequivocally, ``There is age 
     discrimination. It is true. The average duration of 
     unemployment nationwide is 22.7 weeks, but for older adults, 
     it is 32 weeks.''
       ``I think seniors bring a lot to the table,'' said 64-year-
     old Michael Dade, who took classes at The Senior Source after 
     he had to take early retirement from an accounting job at an 
     oil company that downsized. ``I felt like I had to be twice 
     as good as some young person.''
       Dade cautioned others in his age group who still have jobs 
     to stay hungry.
       ``I have seen people who basically put it in cruise control 
     at (age) 55,'' Dade said. ``No one has paid enough dues to 
     have a guaranteed job now. Any day you go to work you have to 
     think it could be your last day and plan that way.''
       Dade now drives the van and coordinates volunteers at The 
     Senior Source. He advised younger people to pay attention to 
     the plight of older workers who lose, or are forced out of, 
     their jobs. He warned those younger workers that they, too, 
     will be older workers someday. He also said the older worker 
     being forced out of a job could be their parents.
       Dade suggested that younger people reduce their debt load, 
     save as much as they can, maximize contributions to their 
     retirement plans, and learn as many marketable skills as 
     possible. That's something he took advantage of in his former 
     job.
       ``I tried to make myself learn as much as I could,'' Dade 
     said.
       Hinton also told us she took every training her former 
     company offered, and she advises others to do the same, 
     because it beats paying for those classes on your own 
     someday.

[[Page H6161]]

       Pro Tip: Claire Turner said it's not enough to simply 
     acquire knowledge and skills--you have to be able to 
     communicate those assets to potential employers, while still 
     sounding humble. For instance, if you have always been a 
     dependable worker, you would say something like, ``Past 
     employers say my attendance is perfect . . . you want to say 
     people `say' I am good at this. That's always a great way to 
     deliver that message,'' Turner said.
       A bright spot: Turner said she is seeing evidence that the 
     tight job market created by a low unemployment rate is 
     helping older workers who are unemployed.
       ``Employers are very open to older workers that they may 
     not have been before,'' Turner said.
       We checked back with Hinton four months after our first 
     visit. She has seen no sign of that new openness to older 
     workers. Hinton's situation had become more desperate.
       A few temporary gigs had come and gone, but she had yet to 
     land a permanent job, despite decades of customer service 
     experience, much of it in management.
       The lack of employment was impacting most aspects of her 
     life:
       Housing: ``Of course, the house, we don't want to lose it. 
     It may get to that point--not maybe soon--but maybe in the 
     next six (months) to a year.''
       Health: ``I have medication I can't afford so I don't take 
     it.''
       Retirement funds (which have depleted some): ``I don't even 
     want to check my Fidelity account.''
       We asked her how many jobs she has applied for since she 
     lost permanent employment two years ago.
       ``Oh my God!'' she said. ``I would say . . . over 250. I 
     got out of that . . . maybe 10 interviews.''
       That lines up with a 2017 study done by the Federal Reserve 
     Bank of San Francisco, in which researchers sent out tens of 
     thousands of fictitious applications from different aged 
     artificial applicants who had similar backgrounds. They found 
     that younger workers were significantly more likely to get a 
     call back from prospective employers than older workers were.
       ``I'm articulate,'' she said. ``I have an energy. I'm not 
     dead. Whatever the curse is . . . whatever it is it needs to 
     go away.''
       Worried that her expansive resume might make her look 
     overqualified (and over age), she shortened it from four 
     pages to two.
       Pro Tip: Claire Turner at The Senior Source said, ``When I 
     was looking, I had 25 resumes. Every single word was true, 
     but I had three different careers. We see all the time people 
     walk in with a resume that is very impressive, with all these 
     years of experience. They present that for a customer service 
     position and there is no correlation. The employer doesn't 
     even understand why you applied. So it is a matter of 
     tailoring your resume. It is definitely honest and factual; 
     it is just showing things that are relevant. The industry 
     standard is that people only show the last ten years.''
       As we wrapped up our second visit with Hinton, she was 
     still filling out applications. But she had also just 
     received another rejection email.
       ``It says, `Dear Diana, thanks for your interest in our 
     customer service position. Unfortunately you have not been 
     selected to continue in our process for this position.' ''
       Her dog, Maxwell, rests at her feet.
       ``Maybe he is my calm,'' Hinton said. ``He's calming me.''
       Hinton wonders if she will ever leave him again to go back 
     to work.
       ``I am pretty strong, but I am almost sliding down, and I 
     have to keep telling myself, `Come on, Diana, you can do 
     this.' I didn't think it was going to be this hard.''
  Ms. GARCIA of Texas. Mr. Speaker, this bill will help people trying 
to recover from this pandemic, including people who lost their job in 
the middle of their career who now fear they will never work again 
because of discriminatory hiring practices.
  This is not about trial lawyers. It is not anything about what some 
of my colleagues across the aisle have talked about. It is just a 
simple clarification bill. It clarifies that job protections for older 
Americans begin at the time of the application.
  I want to thank the AARP, the National Council on Aging, the 
Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, the American Federation of 
Government Employees, and the White House for supporting efforts and 
this bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Texas.
  Ms. GARCIA of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record the letters 
of endorsement for this bill from the AARP and the National Council on 
Aging that I just mentioned.


                                                         AARP,

                                               September 27, 2021.
     Hon. Nancy Pelosi,
     Speaker of the House,
     House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
     Hon. Kevin McCarthy.
     Republican Leader,
     House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy: On behalf of our 
     nearly 38 million members and all older Americans nationwide, 
     AARP writes in support of H.R. 3992, the Protect Older Job 
     Applicants Act (POJA), important legislation sponsored by 
     Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) to protect older job applicants 
     against age discrimination.
       Older workers are valuable assets to their employers and 
     the economy, and additional protections are needed as the 
     country recovers from COVID-19. Despite their value, 78 
     percent of older workers reported having seen or experienced 
     age discrimination in the workplace in 2020, up markedly from 
     61 percent in 2018. The pandemic has significantly diminished 
     the job prospects and future retirement security of older 
     workers. Americans age 55 and up experience long-term 
     unemployment at a higher rate compared to younger job seekers 
     and age discrimination makes it harder for them to return to 
     the workforce.
       We are pleased that this bill extends Age Discrimination in 
     Employment Act (ADEA) protections to job applicants so 
     everyone will have an equal opportunity when applying for a 
     job. H.R. 3992 complements the Protecting Older Workers 
     Against Discrimination Act (H.R. 2062), a bipartisan, 
     commonsense bill that the House of Representatives passed on 
     June 23. POJA goes a step further to ensure the legal rights 
     of applicants for jobs are protected as well.
       AARP strongly supports POJA and urges you to enact it as 
     soon as possible:
           Sincerely,

                                                 Bill Sweeney,

                                            Senior Vice President,
     Government Affairs.
                                  ____

                                                             NCOA,


                                    National Council on Aging,

                                                    July 23, 2021.
     Hon. Sylvia R. Garcia,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Congresswoman Garcia: On behalf of the National 
     Council on Aging, I am pleased to endorse your legislation to 
     strengthen protections for older workers under the Protect 
     Older Job Applicants Act of 2021 (H.R. 3992).
       Ageism is one of the last socially acceptable forms of 
     discrimination in our society--and it remains stubbornly 
     ingrained in too many workplaces. AARP research shows that in 
     2020, nearly 80 percent of older workers reported having seen 
     or experienced age discrimination at work.
       As age discrimination has increased during the pandemic, so 
     have job losses among older workers. Nearly 2 million workers 
     aged 55 and older were unemployed in June, and 55.3 percent 
     were long-term unemployed (27 weeks or longer), a rate that 
     exceeds that of their younger counterparts. Research from The 
     New School Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis 
     reveals that another 1.7 million older adults abandoned the 
     job search and retired earlier than anticipated, setting many 
     of them up for financial insecurity in their later years.
       As Congress takes steps to promote economic recovery and 
     job creation and placement, Age Discrimination in Employment 
     (ADEA) protections must be restored and strengthened. In 
     2019, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Public Appeals (Kleber v. 
     CareFusion Corp., No. 17-1206) ruled that ADEA protections 
     apply only to current employees and do not extend to external 
     applicants. The Protect Older Job Applicants Act will restore 
     the original ADEA intent and clarify and codify these crucial 
     protections for older workers seeking new employment.
       It's time to treat age discrimination the same as every 
     other unlawful bias in the workplace. We applaud your 
     leadership on behalf of older workers and urge Congress to 
     pass your legislation quickly to ensure they have equal 
     access to employment opportunities as the economy recovers 
     and into the future.
           Sincerely,
                                                     Ramsey Alwin,
                                                President and CEO.

  Ms. GARCIA of Texas. Mr. Speaker, together we can and will protect 
older workers during the hiring phase of employment with this bill. 
Everyone deserves a shot at the American Dream, regardless of their 
age. This is common sense. I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this 
bipartisan bill, protecting our older workers.
  Mr. GOOD of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania (Mr. Keller).
  Mr. KELLER. Mr. Speaker, we heard about the justification for this 
legislation, and we are discussing older job applicants. Just some 
context that I would like to add about how well older job applicants 
and workers have been faring in recent decades.
  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for workers age 65 and 
older, employment tripled from 1988 to 2018, while employment among 
younger workers only grew by about one-third.
  Among people age 75 and older, the number of employed people nearly 
quadrupled, increasing from 461,000 in 1998 to 1.8 million in 2018.

[[Page H6162]]

  The labor force participation rate for older workers has been 
steadily increasing since the late 1990s, while participation rates for 
younger age groups either declined or flattened during the same period.
  Over the past 20 years, the number of older workers on full-time work 
schedules grew 2\1/2\ times faster than the number working part time.
  Full-time employees are now a majority of older workers. They were 61 
percent in 2018, up from 46 percent in 1998.
  These statistics paint a picture of rising full-time employment among 
older workers, and they do not portray rampant discrimination against 
older job applicants.
  As the economy recovers from the pandemic, older workers will 
continue to prosper.
  H.R. 3992 is yet another Democrat bill in search of a problem. It 
will result in an avalanche of class action litigation against 
employers for using standard, reasonable recruiting methods, and I 
encourage a ``no'' vote on the bill.
  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to note that the reality is that there is 
substantial evidence that older workers are routinely harmed by 
plausibly neutral but age-discriminate hiring practices.
  For example, in 2017, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco 
conducted a study on age discrimination and hiring by sending similar 
resumes to 13,000 job openings in 12 cities, totaling 40,000 
applicants. For all five job position types they studied, the callback 
rate was higher for younger applicants and lower for older applicants, 
consistent with age discrimination in hiring.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. 
Jackson Lee).

                              {time}  1700

  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the Speaker and I thank the 
manager very much, and I thank Congresswoman Garcia of Texas for her 
leadership and sponsorship of H.R. 3992, Protect Older Job Applicants 
Act. It is long overdue and an important initiative.
  Words from Patti Temple Rocks, communications professional, really 
capture what this bill is about: ``I was still on my game, but I was 
being moved . . . to make room for someone younger.''
  Let me be very clear. There is a great opportunity for all of us to 
be employed, and that is what this legislation says. It is specifically 
making sure that every American worker is protected. Specifically, this 
bill will make it unlawful to limit, segregate, or classify job 
applicants in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any 
individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect 
his or her status as a job applicant because of such individual's age.
  This bill will include the job application process in ADEA's 
antidiscrimination provisions and, again, disallow anyone from 
classifying you and discriminating because of age.
  H.R. 3992 would give external candidates the express right under 
Federal law to bring these types of claims against employers. What I 
would simply say to my friends, this is to prohibit but it is also to 
prevent or intervene so that employers can know the right things to do.
  According to AARP, one in four workers age 45 and older have been 
subjected to negative comments about their age from supervisors or 
coworkers, and 76 percent age discrimination find that as a hurdle in 
helping to find a new job.
  We also recognize that there is a lot of talent with older workers. 
Paradoxically, what most companies do not seem to understand is that 
older workers possess a depth of knowledge and experience that is worth 
paying for and is not easily replaced and can be tapped in from many 
different ways; and, as well, having a mix of people of all 
generations, able and ready, and disabled, if you will, to work 
alongside of each other.
  ``People walk out of companies now with an enormous amount of 
intellectual property in their heads,'' says Paul Rupert, the founder 
and CEO of Respectful Exits, a nonprofit consulting firm that is 
raising corporate awareness about age discrimination. ``They know 
things that are essential to the company's success, and if that 
knowledge is not captured and transmitted to the next generation, that 
company is losing a tremendous chunk of capital, and it will eventually 
pay a price.''
  So what is the point? The point is to recognize how important it is 
to ensure that we don't discriminate. In fact, women age 40 are finding 
that if they lose a job they, too, are being discriminated against in 
terms of getting a job.
  I want to, again, salute the sponsor of this legislation, the manager 
of this legislation, and of course, the chairman of the Education and 
Labor Committee, Chairman Scott, along with all of those who supported 
this to ensure this is about fairness.
  As a member of the Judiciary Committee, we always promote equal 
justice. We partner with the Education and Labor Committee in its work 
on equal justice. So this is legislation that provides opportunities 
for equal justice, and I would ask my colleagues to support this bill, 
H.R. 3992, Protect Older Job Applicants Act. But more importantly, 
let's protect the intellectual capital of all Americans, every job 
applicant.
  Let there not be discrimination against you for race or color or 
creed or disability or gender or anything else, and certainly have 
respect for that intellectual capital that older American workers bring 
to the workforce. Let's celebrate it; let's have a good time with it; 
and let's build our companies on all of this genius that happens to be 
the American workers now today.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask for support of the legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 3992, the ``Protect 
Older Job Applicants Act,'' which will amend the Age Discrimination in 
Employment Act of 1967, which prohibits age-based discrimination in 
hiring, to specifically prohibit employers from limiting, segregating, 
or classifying job applicants on the basis of age.
  People of all ages, but especially older applicants, must be 
protected from discriminatory practices and loopholes that hurt their 
chances to get a job, especially as we have seen that older American 
workers have disproportionately experienced long-term unemployment in 
the COVID economy.
  The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 was 
passed to prohibit age-based discrimination for current employees and 
job applicants.
  However, two federal circuit court decisions over the last five years 
have ruled that some provisions of the ADEA's federal anti-age 
discrimination protections only applied to current employees, not job 
applicants.
  In 2016, the 11th Circuit case Villarreal v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco 
Company held that the ADEA disparate impact statute only covers 
employees, but not older applicants, and in 2019, the 7th Circuit 
adopted the same interpretation in Kleber v. CareFusion Corporation.
  The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review the appellate court 
decisions.
  Currently, employers, especially those within the 7th and 11th 
Circuits, have a valid defense to claims under the ADEA where external 
job applicants allege they have been negatively impacted by hiring 
practices on the basis of their age.
  H.R. 3992 would give external candidates the express right under 
federal law to bring these types of claims against employers.
  This bill will include the job application process in ADEA's 
antidiscrimination provisions.
  Specifically, this bill will make it unlawful ``to limit, segregate, 
or classify . . . [job applicants] in any way which would deprive or 
tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise 
adversely affect his status as . . . [a job applicant], because of such 
individual's age.''
  According to the AARP, 1 in 4 workers age 45 and older have been 
subjected to negative comments about their age from supervisors or 
coworkers, and 76 percent see age discrimination as a hurdle to finding 
a new job.
  In one University of California, Irvine, study, resumes were sent out 
on behalf of more than 40,000 fictitious applicants of different ages 
for thousands of low-skill jobs like janitors, administrative 
assistants and retail sales clerks in 12 cities.
  This study found that the older the applicant was, the fewer 
callbacks the applicant received.
  This study also found that age discrimination has the highest impact 
on women, who suffer more age discrimination then men starting in their 
40s.
  According to David Neumark, a professor of economics who oversaw the 
study, ``[t]he evidence of age discrimination against women . . . pops 
out in every study'' conducted on age discrimination.

[[Page H6163]]

  Ageism is still very much present in our society, and it is important 
we acknowledge that we still have much work to do to correct this bias 
and give every job applicant a fair and equal opportunity when applying 
for a job.
  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, I have no further speakers on the 
underlying bill, and I continue to reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GOOD of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I have been a recruiter for a for-profit corporation. I 
did that for 15 years where I had the responsibility of recruiting on 
college campuses and hiring and making those decisions for a company 
for which I was depended on to find the absolute best workers, and that 
was not during a time when we had 10 million open jobs in the country 
and companies so desperate to find quality workers and fill those 
positions. I did this for a company that was vulnerable to the very 
consequences that we want to bring in greater capacity here today on 
this House floor.
  Once again, we have got House Democrats trying to solve a nonexistent 
crisis instead of the many that they have created; massive spending, 
rising crime, gas prices going through the roof, increased inflation 
for groceries and other things, surging illegals across the border, 
firing cops and nurses and first responders because they don't get a 
vaccine that we are forcing upon them.
  Instead of dealing with those, this majority is here focused instead 
on yet another manufactured problem with yet another leftist solution 
that has the added benefit from their perspective of paying off their 
trial lawyer donors.
  They miss the point about disparate impact. As an example, a job 
recruiter goes to a college campus, spends several days recruiting, 
happens to only have typical younger, college-age workers apply, hires 
some of those workers, and now their trial lawyer friends would sue 
them because they didn't hire any older workers when no older workers 
applied because they used a typical standard practice for hiring entry-
level workers. That is a real example.
  They don't understand the difference between impact and treatment. We 
already have laws prohibiting the practice of disparate treatment on 
age discrimination basis.
  This misnamed piece of legislation does nothing to truly protect 
older job applicants. Again, older job applicants are already protected 
by the law, and age discrimination is already illegal. Democrats just 
want to raise the stakes for their lawyer friends, making it easier to 
sue and the penalties more severe perhaps so that they can then donate 
more to Democrat campaigns.
  Democrats don't want to acknowledge that sound economic policy, if 
they could recognize it, is what is good for older Americans; low 
taxes, less regulation. That benefits older American job applicants 
just like everybody else, not more regulation, penalization of 
employees, and unnecessary victimization.
  It has already been said, according to the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics, these are the facts. Don't let the facts get involved with 
bad legislation. I know, don't interfere. But the facts show, and I 
would like my colleagues across the aisle to explain the problem with 
the facts, that the number of workers age 75 and older in the workforce 
has quadrupled in the last 30 years, rising from 461,000 in 1988 to 1.8 
million in 2018.
  But, again, this legislation is about trial lawyers, not older 
Americans, and this bill would serve as yet another burden on small 
business owners.
  In the age of online job postings and digital recruiting, this 
legislation would make employers vulnerable for any form of recruiting 
that brings in younger applicants. Online job boards, social media, 
even the simple act of posting a position online could be challenged 
under this bill simply because younger applicants tend to apply through 
those processes and search for jobs through those mechanisms.
  The unintended--or, I suspect, the truly intended--consequence of 
this bill would be countless class action lawsuits against employers 
who are already struggling under Democrat efforts to cripple our 
economy.
  Democrats have spent 2 years closing businesses with lockdowns, 
firing employees with their vaccine mandates, and paying more people to 
stay home. Here's another way: Let them benefit from a trial lawyer who 
sues on their behalf under this bill. Heck, even Members of this very 
body are staying home rather than attending committee hearings or 
voting in this Chamber. And now that America is trying to reopen in 
spite of them, Democrats want to have their trial lawyer friends sue 
more business employers and job creators.
  What we do on this floor has consequences that reach into every 
corner of this great Nation; a sad and dangerous reality under this 
majority this year. But Democrats are relentless in their determination 
to pass legislation with a compassionate title--it sounds good--for a 
manufactured crisis and a policy that hurts small businesses and kills 
jobs. It is what they do.
  As I said before, the Democrat majority has unveiled contempt for 
employers, businesses, and job creators, and they continue to 
perpetuate this ``us against them'' mind set between employees and 
employers or employers and job applicants. They truly believe that 
employers are hostile to and exploitive of their employees, and they 
need more regulation, again, when we have 10 million job openings and 
employers desperate to fill those positions so they can stay open.
  The socialist America that the left clearly wants is not the America 
that our constituents and millions of Americans know and love; as the 
results in Virginia and New Jersey clearly showed last night, 
bipartisan results, because there are not that many Republicans in 
Virginia or New Jersey to deliver those results.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, I have no further speakers, and I am 
prepared to close. I do want to note with regard to my colleague's 
remarks, I believe there is a House rule about not impugning the 
motives of people who are here on this distinguished floor of the House 
of Representatives.
  Older workers are suffering from a higher rate of long-term 
unemployment versus their younger peers. According to AARP, this has 
produced devastating consequences during the COVID-19 pandemic, as 74 
percent of workers aged 40 to 65 who have lost a job in 2020 reported 
being unemployed for more than 6 months.

  Again, Mr. Speaker, this is already the law of the land except for 
people in two Federal circuits here in the United States. This bill is 
intended to make a uniform law across the country.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GOOD of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my 
time to close.
  Discrimination is wrong, and it has been illegal in the United States 
for decades, as it should be.
  Older workers are faring well in the workforce without the help from 
us in Congress, and they don't need a trial lawyer payoff--disguised as 
a win for older workers--that will threaten routine hiring practices, 
limit job opportunities, and create a tsunami of parasitic litigation.
  We should ensure that our legislation does not have unintended 
consequences that are negative and harmful, but H.R. 3992 fails 
miserably in this regard when it comes to protecting older workers and 
ensuring job opportunities for current and future workers.
  I strongly encourage my colleagues to vote ``no'' on H.R. 3992, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time to 
close.
  Passing the bipartisan Protect Older Job Applicants Act should be a 
priority of every Member of Congress. Republicans and Democrats worked 
together just a few months ago to advance the Protecting Older Workers 
Against Discrimination Act. This bipartisan effort was a major step 
toward ensuring older workers can assert legal claims to hold employers 
accountable for disparate treatment that results in age discrimination.
  However, we cannot defeat age discrimination in employment if we 
leave older job applicants behind. Without equal protections, older 
workers are still being denied job opportunities because of hiring 
practices that, while not intentionally discriminatory, ultimately 
exclude workers based on their age.

[[Page H6164]]

  Providing job applicants with the tools to seek justice for 
discriminatory hiring practices is not just the right thing to do, it 
is the smart thing to do. In 2018 our economy missed out on as much as 
$850 billion in gross domestic product because older workers who wished 
to switch jobs, grow in their jobs, or reenter the workforce were 
denied that opportunity.
  The Protect Older Job Applicants Act addresses this gap in an 
important ADEA protection and helps older workers eliminate barriers 
that prevent them from fully contributing to our economy.
  More broadly, this legislation will deliver on the promise of the 
ADEA and help ensure that all older workers, regardless of whether they 
are looking for a job or already have one, are equally protected 
against age discrimination under the law in every part of the country.
  I want to again thank Ms. Garcia for her leadership. I urge my 
colleagues to vote ``yes,'' and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, thank you today, the House has an 
opportunity to support older workers by passing H.R. 3992, the Protect 
Older Job Applicants Act, introduced by Representative Garcia of Texas.
  While Americans are working later in life than ever before, many 
older workers are finding that their experience can count against them 
when applying for new jobs. Research shows that three-fourths of 
workers age 45 and older say age discrimination has eroded their 
confidence in finding a new job, and more than 40 percent of older job 
applicants have been asked for age-related information in the hiring 
process.
  For more than half a century, older workers and older job applicants 
who face age discrimination were equally protected under the Age 
Discrimination in Employment Act, or A-D-E-A.
  Earlier this year, House Republicans and Democrats came together to 
pass the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, which 
strengthens protections for workers who allege disparate treatment 
based on age under the A-D-E-A.
  Unfortunately, recent decisions in the Seventh and Eleventh Federal 
Circuit Courts have excluded job applicants from seeking recourse under 
the disparate impact provision of the A-D-E-A, even while maintaining 
that same protection for current employees.
  This means older job applicants in the Seventh and Eleventh Circuits 
can only challenge age discrimination in hiring when they prove that an 
employer intended to discriminate based on age. They are unable to 
challenge hiring practices that appear neutral, but, in fact, result in 
a disproportionate, harmful impact on older workers.
  Unfortunately, the Supreme Court declined to grant review of this 
matter. Therefore, it is up to Congress to clarify what has otherwise 
been the law of the land with regard to the coverage of job applicants 
under the A-D-E-A.
  Current law provides recourse for job applicants in most 
jurisdictions, but not all. By amending the A-D-E-A, this legislation 
clarifies that older job applicants across the country can effectively 
seek justice when they are harmed by age discrimination in hiring.
  The Administration issued a Statement of Administration Policy in 
support of this legislation. It states in part:
  ``Workplace age discrimination, including at the application stage, 
prevents people from fully accessing the American dream and limits the 
contributions that they can make to our shared prosperity. Ensuring 
equitable access to employment is a priority for the Administration. 
The Administration supports this legislation that protects older job 
applicants.''
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Each further amendment printed in part E of House Report 117-137 
shall be considered only in the order printed in the report, may be 
offered only by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered 
as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report 
equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, may be 
withdrawn by the proponent at any time before the question is put 
thereon, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to 
a demand for division of the question.

                              {time}  1715


                 Amendment No. 1 Offered by Mr. Pappas

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 
1 printed in part E of House Report 117-137.
  Mr. PAPPAS. Mr. Speaker, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 1, after line 12, insert the following:

     SEC. 3. STUDY.

       Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of 
     this Act, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shall 
     conduct a study to determine the number of claims pending or 
     filed with the Commission since 2015 under the Age 
     Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 621 et 
     seq.), including claims in closed cases, by job applicants 
     who may have been adversely impacted by age discrimination in 
     the job application process. The Chairman of the Commission 
     shall submit to the Committee on Education and Labor of the 
     House of Representatives and the Committee on Health, 
     Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate, and shall make 
     available to the public, a report that contains the results 
     of the study, including recommendations for best practices to 
     prevent, combat, and address age discrimination in the hiring 
     process.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 716, the 
gentleman from New Hampshire (Mr. Pappas) and a Member opposed each 
will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Hampshire.
  Mr. PAPPAS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of my amendment to require 
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to conduct a study on the 
number of job applicants impacted by age discrimination and issue 
recommendations on addressing age discrimination in the job application 
process.
  Nearly half of older job applicants report being asked for age-
related information when applying for a job, and three-quarters of 
workers over the age of 45 lack confidence in their ability to find a 
new job due to age discrimination.
  This poses a significant challenge for workers in my home State of 
New Hampshire. As a State with an aging workforce, New Hampshire 
businesses are concerned about both how to attract talent and how to 
ensure that the institutional knowledge and experience of workers 
reaching retirement age is passed down. When workers are pushed out of 
our labor force by age discrimination or by the concern that they may 
face discrimination, our businesses and communities lose the benefit of 
their knowledge and experience.
  Strengthening age discrimination laws is the right thing to do 
because it will both protect workers and also serve to help keep them 
in our labor force at a time when businesses are already struggling to 
attract talent. In our changing economy, we need to ensure that older 
workers continue to have opportunities available to them.
  We must pass the Protect Older Job Applicants Act to clarify that job 
applicants can challenge discriminatory hiring practices under the Age 
Discrimination in Employment Act, and I urge my colleagues to support 
this commonsense amendment and help us gain a better understanding of 
the issues that older job applicants face when applying for jobs and 
the solutions that are needed to stop discriminatory practices.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record two letters in support of the 
underlying legislation, one from the American Federation of Government 
Employees and one from the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations.
                                            American Federation of


                                Government Employees, AFL-CIO,

                               Washington, DC, September 28, 2021.
       Dear Representative: On behalf of the American Federation 
     of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (AFGE), which represents 
     more than 700,000 federal and District of Columbia employees, 
     I urge you to vote for H.R. 3992, the ``Protect Older Job 
     Applicants (POJA) Act of 2021.''
       Under existing law, the Age Discrimination in Employment 
     Act (ADEA) only applies to currently employed people seeking 
     recourse in the face of employment discrimination based on 
     age. The ADEA does not cover job applicants who experience 
     age discrimination in hiring, including applicants for 
     federal government positions.
       H.R. 3992 extends the protections of the ADEA to external 
     job applicants in addition to employees. Specifically, this 
     legislation would allow job applicants to be able to bring 
     disparate impact discrimination claims under the ADEA. The 
     bill would protect older Americans against employment 
     discrimination that prevent them from even getting a foot in 
     the door. Considering the heightened long-term unemployment 
     struggles older Americans have experienced during the COVID-
     19 pandemic, this bill is critically important.
       Building on our support for H.R. 1230, the ``Protecting 
     Older Workers Against Discrimination Act,'' AFGE is proud to 
     be a

[[Page H6165]]

     leader in the fight against all forms of employment 
     discrimination including those affecting older Americans. 
     Please support H.R. 3992, the ``Protect Older Job Applicants 
     (POJA) Act of 2021.''
           Sincerely,
                                                 Julie N. Tippens,
     Director, Legislative Department.
                                  ____

                                                Leadership Council


                                       of Aging Organizations,

                               Washington, DC, September 28, 2021.
       Dear Member of Congress: The Leadership Council of Aging 
     Organizations (LCAO) is a coalition of 69 national nonprofit 
     organizations concerned with the well-being of America's 
     older population and committed to representing their 
     interests in the policy-making arena. We urge you to 
     strengthen protections for older workers by voting for H.R. 
     3992, the Protect Older Job Applicants Act (POJA) of 2021. 
     POJA would clarify that the Age Discrimination in Employment 
     Act's (ADEA) prohibition against all forms of employment 
     discrimination based on age covers individuals during the 
     hiring phase of employment.
       Age discrimination is pervasive and stubbornly entrenched. 
     It often starts in the hiring process when employers 
     circumvent anti-age discrimination laws by using such tactics 
     as setting a maximum number of years of experience that a 
     prospective employer will consider or setting up screening 
     processes that exclude older applicants. In 2020, 78 percent 
     of older workers reported having seen or experienced age 
     discrimination in the workplace--a significant increase from 
     61 percent in 2018. Age discrimination is also pervasive 
     among older women and African American workers--nearly two 
     thirds of women and three-fourths of African Americans say 
     they have seen or experienced workplace discrimination. The 
     COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on employment for 
     everyone, with older workers taking a harder hit. Those aged 
     55+ continue to experience long-term unemployment in greater 
     numbers, with 55.3 percent of older jobseekers unemployed for 
     27 weeks or more as of June 2021, compared to 36 percent of 
     younger workers. The rates were worse for older workers who 
     were black, female, or who did not have a college degree.
       Although the ADEA was meant to apply to all forms of age 
     discrimination in hiring, recent court decisions have 
     narrowly interpreted the applicability of ADEA's protections 
     and have excluded job applicants who are subjected to hiring 
     practices that have a discriminatory impact based on age, 
     such as specifying a maximum number of years of experience. 
     The Protect Older Job Applicants Act would clarify that older 
     workers seeking employment should be protected from all forms 
     of age discrimination in hiring.
       We urge Congress to swiftly pass the Protect Older Job 
     Applicants Act and clarify the ADEA's prohibition against 
     hiring practices that have a discriminatory impact on older 
     workers.
           Sincerely,
                                                Katie Smith Sloan,
                                                            Chair.

  Mr. PAPPAS. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GOOD of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. GOOD of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, unfortunately this amendment is a 
day late and a dollar short. It requires the Equal Employment 
Opportunity Commission to study the extent of discrimination against 
job applicants based on age and make recommendations of best practices 
to prevent discrimination. This study could possibly yield useful 
information, but it is information we should have obtained before we 
vote on H.R. 3992.
  Further, the amendment tacitly acknowledges that we need more 
information before we vote on this bill. This is classic ready, fire, 
aim.
  The Committee on Education and Labor rushed to mark up H.R. 3992 only 
a month after it was introduced without holding a single hearing on the 
bill, a measure which is sorely lacking the examination that it 
deserves.
  However, the information we do have more than suggests that this bill 
is unnecessary. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act already 
prohibits discrimination against job applicants because of age. 
Moreover, older workers have done well in the job market in recent 
decades. Again, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for 
workers age 65 and older, employment tripled from 1988 to 2018, while 
employment among younger workers only grew by about a third.
  This amendment, which requires a study after the underlying bill has 
already been signed into law, does nothing to address the problems in 
the bill.
  H.R. 3992 will threaten routine recruitment and hiring practices, 
such as participating in college job fairs and posting to online job 
boards, at a time when nearly 8 million Americans are unemployed and 
employers are struggling to find workers to fill the more than 10 
million available jobs.
  I oppose this amendment, which is a day late and a dollar short, and 
I strongly oppose the underlying bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. PAPPAS. Mr. Speaker, I will correct the record again on the fact 
that the committee did hold a hearing on this subject on March 18, 
2021.
  At that hearing, Laurie McCann, a senior attorney at AARP Foundation, 
testified about the erosion of protections for older workers in 
judicial decisions under the ADEA, including specific mention in her 
testimony of the Seventh Circuit's Kleber decision and its harmful 
impact on applicants. So, that is well-documented.
  This particular amendment seeks to give us additional information 
going forward that would be valuable in understanding the plight of 
older job applicants.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to the gentlewoman 
from Illinois (Ms. Newman).
  Ms. NEWMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I rise today, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the millions of older workers 
who desperately need our help.
  Last year, we saw older Americans leave the workforce more than we 
ever have before, in fact, more than in the last seven decades.
  We are seeing tens of thousands of workers with the right 
qualifications for a job being turned away all because they are 50, 
maybe even 40, and considered too old. In fact, 76 percent of older 
American workers reported seeing age discrimination when trying to 
obtain a job.
  Mr. Speaker, 76 percent. That is clearly unacceptable.
  We need to pass the Protect Older Job Applicants Act to ensure 
America's older workers are finally protected from discrimination. But 
before we can solve that problem, we have to fully understand it.
  That is why included in this bill is an amendment I put forth to 
ensure the Federal Government has the resources it needs to study just 
how many job applicants have been discriminated against based on age. 
By doing so, we can better provide recommendations and best practices 
to further prevent this issue because when we lift up all of our older 
workers, we lift up our entire economy.
  Mr. PAPPAS. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Garcia), the cosponsor of the underlying 
legislation.
  Ms. GARCIA of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Pappas and 
Newman amendment. This amendment from my colleagues just enhances this 
bill.
  As a former administrative law judge for the Equal Employment 
Opportunity Commission in the Houston region, I can tell you personally 
that the type of information that would be gathered by the EEOC on the 
number of job applicants impacted by age discrimination on the job and 
all the issues that they have related to their applications would be 
very helpful.
  It would not only be helpful to the administrative law judges at the 
EEOC; it would be helpful for judges that would finally hear the cases 
in court if they go to court. It would be helpful for research. It 
would be helpful for advocacy groups. This information would be vital, 
again, to help us in Congress to seek better ways to improve and work 
best on prevention and combating and addressing age discrimination in 
the hiring process.
  Mr. Speaker, there is some discussion on the other side of the aisle 
that this is a remedy for a problem that doesn't exist. Let me tell 
you, if you talk to advocacy groups, discrimination is alive and well.
  We need this legislation. We need this amendment. I urge adoption.
  Mr. PAPPAS. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the amendment.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. GOOD of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and 
nays.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to section 3(s) of House Resolution 
8, the yeas and nays are ordered.
  Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further proceedings on this question 
are postponed.

[[Page H6166]]

  



                 Amendment No. 2 Offered by Mr. Keller

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 
2 printed in part E of House Report 117-137.
  Mr. KELLER. Mr. Speaker, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 1, after line 12, insert the following:

     SEC. 3. DELAYED EFFECTIVE DATE OF AMENDMENTS.

       (a) Study Required.--Subject to subsection (b), the 
     amendments made by this Act shall not take effect until the 
     date the Government Accountability Office reports to Congress 
     the results of a study such Office carries out to determine 
     whether not allowing claims of disparate impact 
     discrimination by applicants for employment under the Age 
     Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (20 U.S.C. 621 et 
     seq.) has a significant negative impact on such applicants.
       (b) Study Results.--If the results of the study carried out 
     under subsection (a) show there is not a significant negative 
     impact of the kind described in such subsection on applicants 
     for employment, then the amendments made by this Act shall 
     not take effect.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 716, the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Keller) and a Member opposed each will 
control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. KELLER. Mr. Speaker, before considering any legislation, the 
House should first make a determination about whether the proposal is 
actually needed and then should always carefully study the pending 
legislation to determine whether it will adequately and positively 
address the issue it purports to address. Unfortunately, Democrats have 
failed on both counts with H.R. 3992.
  The bill was introduced only 8 legislative days before the Committee 
on Education and Labor markup, and the committee did not hold a hearing 
on the legislation.
  As such, we are flying blind as we consider H.R. 3992 today.
  H.R. 3992 authorizes disparate impact claims for job applicants under 
the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and it has wide-ranging and 
damaging implications that need thorough examination.
  Significantly, we have had no data on whether excluding job 
applicants from disparate impact coverage under the ADEA has a 
significant negative impact on older job applicants. Indeed, to date, 
there have been zero circuit court decisions ruling that the ADEA 
authorizes job applicants to sue under a disparate impact theory.
  Further, we have no information about the numerous effects this 
sweeping bill would have on job seekers and businessowners. As we have 
heard during this debate, H.R. 3992 could needlessly interfere with 
routine recruitment practices, such as college recruiting, 
apprenticeship programs, and online job postings.
  Given the appalling lack of data on the issue and the rush by 
Democrats to pass the bill, this amendment simply requires the GAO to 
conduct a needed study on whether excluding job applicants from 
disparate impact coverage under the ADEA has a significant negative 
impact on older job applicants. If the study finds no such negative 
impact, the bill would not go into effect.
  This House should not legislate in the dark. Unfortunately, this is 
exactly what we are doing here today.
  This amendment will shed some much-needed light on a far-reaching 
bill that has not received proper examination.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. GARCIA of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Ms. GARCIA of Texas. Mr. Speaker, before I begin, let me say again 
for the third time that, in fact, the committee did have a hearing on 
this subject. On March 18, 2021, the Subcommittees on Civil Rights and 
Human Services and Workforce Protections held a hearing titled 
``Fighting for Fairness: Examining Legislation to Confront Workplace 
Discrimination.''
  At that hearing, Laurie McCann, a senior attorney at AARP Foundation, 
testified about the erosion of protections for older workers in 
judicial decisions under the ADA, including specific mention in her 
testimony of the Seventh Circuit's Kleber decision and its harmful 
impact on older applicants.
  Mr. Speaker, this amendment prevents the legislation from going into 
effect unless the GAO finds that there have been negative impacts. This 
is simply a delay tactic with no end date in sight.
  The reason we are here today is precisely because we do have a 
problem due to the circuit court decisions which cut off access to the 
courts for job applicants seeking relief under the ADEA.

                              {time}  1730

  The Supreme Court has denied cert to review this matter.
  We have heard from AARP, one of the Nation's preeminent authorities 
on age discrimination, which has advised Congress that these court 
decisions in the 7th and 11th Circuits are not only at odds with the 
intent of the ADEA, but that the courthouse doors have been unfairly 
slammed shut to deserving individuals seeking relief.
  Testimony before the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services 
earlier this year noted that barring older applicants from seeking 
relief for disparate impact discrimination is a problem, and that 
without clarifying the ADEA, similar plaintiffs will not be able to 
seek justice under the law.
  For example, in the 7th Circuit case, Kleber v. CareFusion 
Corporation, Mr. Kleber, a 58-year-old attorney with considerable 
corporate law experience applied for an in-house counsel position.
  The position required applicants to have no more than 7 years of 
relevant legal experience, which effectively means that it freezes out 
job applicants that were over age 40. Again, on its face it may look 
neutral, but if you say, ``no one with more than 7 years' experience,'' 
that cuts out a lot of people.
  Despite his significant prior experience in corporate law, Kleber was 
denied the opportunity to even interview for the job, since the 
experience limit was effectively a proxy for age.
  The 7th Circuit held that because Mr. Kleber was an outside job 
applicant rather than an employee seeking a new position from within 
the company, he was barred from bringing a disparate impact claim. This 
turns the entire purpose of the ADEA on its head, which is to remedy 
age discrimination for both jobseekers and employees. Furthermore, we 
know generalized age discrimination is not isolated.
  In 2017, researchers for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco 
sent 40,000 resumes of applicants of all ages to 13,000 job openings 
across 12 cities. They found that older workers received substantially 
fewer callbacks from employers for job interviews and showed particular 
harm for older women applicants.
  We do not need another study to tell us what we already know. Older 
job applicants are subjected to age discrimination when seeking 
employment and that an effective remedy is needed when that conduct 
lacks justification.
  Madam Speaker, finally, this amendment would indefinitely delay 
implementation of this bill because there is no deadline for GAO to 
conduct a study and report back to Congress.
  Would we even see the results of this study and when? Again, this is 
simply a delay tactic. We already have all the evidence we need to know 
that it is timely for Congress to act and to pass this legislation to 
protect our older job applicants.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this amendment 
and ``yes'' on the underlying bill.
  Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I heard my colleague from Texas say that 
they have had a hearing on the subject. Well, our contention is not the 
subject, but the bill. There have been zero hearings on this bill, 
which was introduced 8 legislative days ago.
  So I don't know why there is a rush to judgment on whether we should 
vote on this or not without making sure we understand all the issues. 
And since the Democrats are unwilling to do that, this amendment makes 
perfect sense, if you don't want to examine it and do that beforehand 
and do the proper work up front. Let's make sure before this takes 
effect and could harm older Americans or job creators, we should 
understand the impacts and what it means.

[[Page H6167]]

  So you can sit here and correct the Record all you want. What you 
think you are doing when you talk about the subject, we are talking 
about the legislation. And we need to know exactly what this 
legislation is going to do and how it is going to impact older 
Americans and our job creators.
  Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Ms. Bourdeaux). Pursuant to House Resolution 
716, the previous question is ordered on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Keller).
  The question is on the amendment.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the noes appear to have it.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to section 3(s) of House Resolution 
8, the yeas and nays are ordered.
  Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further proceedings on this question 
are postponed.
  Pursuant to clause 1(c) of rule XIX, further consideration on H.R. 
3992 is postponed.

                          ____________________