Derek Slap


Derek Slap



April 14, 2021

State Senate Approves Sen. Slap’s Anti-Age Discrimination Bill

HARTFORD – The state Senate today unanimously approved a bill introduced and championed by state Senator Derek Slap (D-West Hartford) over the past three years 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 now heads to the state House of Representatives for consideration. The bill passed the legislature’s Aging Committee on a unanimous and bipartisan basis in February.

“Today, Connecticut moved one giant step closer to closing a loophole in state law and protecting our older workers. I want to thank my colleagues in the Senate, the Connecticut AARP, and the countless other advocates and individuals who have spoken to me, offered their personal stories, and who have seen this very necessary legislation through to this point. We are on the cusp of a very hard-fought victory,” Sen. Slap said. “I have been saying for years, and the statistics bear this out, that no one should be vetted for a job simply because of their age. We lose too much experience, too much opportunity, and too much economic activity when certain folks are prevented from even getting their foot in the door for a job. That will soon come to an end, and Connecticut and its older workers will be better for it.”

“AARP Connecticut applauds the Senate’s unanimous passage of Senate Bill 56 deterring age discrimination,” said Nora Duncan, AARP Connecticut state director. “Older workers are an asset to Connecticut workplaces, and this legislation will offer them protection when they complete job applications. We were pleased to see this bill pass the Senate with strong bipartisan support, and we encourage the House to take quick action and protect older workers from discrimination.”

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.