House Passes Bills to Protect Older Job Applicants and Strengthen Domestic Violence Prevention and Survivor Support Services
On October 26 and November 4, 2021, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2119, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act of 2021, and H.R. 3992, the Protect Older Job Applicants (POJA) Act of 2021, respectively. Both bills passed by a close bipartisan vote — the former by a vote of 228-200 and the latter 224-200 — and are supported by President Biden.
As originally written, the POJA Act amends the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) to extend the prohibition of limiting, segregating or classifying by employers of employees to job applicants. The bill comes after recent rulings in the Seventh and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals that allow employers to use facially neutral hiring practices, which some have accused of being discriminatory against older workers. As such, the POJA Act amends the ADEA to make clear that the disparate impact provision in the original statute protects older “applicants for employment” in addition to those already employed.
Before the final vote on the bill, the House also adopted an amendment to the POJA Act that would require the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to conduct a study on the number of job applicants impacted by age discrimination in the job application process and issue recommendations on addressing age discrimination in the job application process.
Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act amends the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act to reauthorize and increase funding for programs focused on preventing family and domestic violence and protecting survivors. One provision addressing higher education authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to now include institutions of higher education among the entities eligible for departmental grants to “conduct domestic violence, dating violence and family violence research or evaluation.”
Both the Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act and the POJA Act now face the Senate where passage is uncertain as both require significant support from Republicans to bypass the sixty-vote filibuster threshold.
CUPA-HR will keep members apprised of any actions or votes taken by the Senate on these bills.