Derek Slap


Derek Slap



February 16, 2021

Aging Committee Unanimously Approves Sen. Slap’s Anti-Age Discrimination Bill

HARTFORD – The legislature’s Aging Committee today unanimously approved a bill championed by state Senator Derek Slap (D-West Hartford) that would make Connecticut a national leader in protecting older workers from age discrimination.

The bill prohibits employers from asking for an applicants’ date of birth or school graduation and/or attendance dates on job applications. If enacted, Connecticut would be one of just a few states in America that explicitly bans this type of information on job applications.

The bill was referred by the Aging Committee to the state Senate for further action; the Senate could either refer the bill to another committee for consideration, or simply hold a vote on it before the legislative session ends in June.

“Today we moved one step closer to making a critical improvement in state law that will protect older workers,” said Sen. Slap, who is Senate Chair of the Aging Committee. “Hopefully, with the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations picking up, we’ll be reopening more workplaces soon, and companies will start hiring again. And when they do, older workers will know that they have as much of a fair shot at going back to work as anyone else. No one should be vetted for a job simply because of their age, and this bill will help close that loophole in current law.”

Senate Bill 56, “AN ACT DETERRING AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT APPLICATION,” is the same bill that received widespread support last year – including from the Connecticut AARP, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, and a group of West Hartford seniors – before the coronavirus pandemic ended the 2020 legislative session.

With 436,000 workers in their mid-50’s, Connecticut has the 6th-oldest workforce in the nation, with a median age of 41 (as of 2017.) Just 20% of Connecticut employees were over the age 54 in 2008; today that figure is 26.5%, with the health care, manufacturing, educational services and retail trade industries employing the most workers over age 54.

A 2018 AARP survey found about 60% of older workers have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace, and 76% of them see age discrimination as a hurdle to finding a new job. Meanwhile, nearly a third of U.S. households headed by someone age 55 or older have no retirement savings or pension, meaning they’ll have to continue working or rely on Social Security in order to survive financially.