Apr 232013

Old and young people will have equal opportunities to get employed under the proposed “Anti-age Discrimination in Employment Act.”

House Bill 156, authored by Rep. Edwin Olivarez (1st District, Parañaque City), will protect the not so young job seekers from employers who do not hire applicants because of age and not because of qualifications.

“In the face of rising productivity and affluence, older workers find themselves disadvantaged or discriminated against their efforts to retain employment or to regain employment when displaced from their jobs,” Olivarez said.

Under the measure, employers who fail or refuse to hire or discharge any individual with respect to compensation and other terms and conditions of employment by reason of age shall be unlawful.

“It shall also be unlawful for an employment agency to fail or refuse to refer for employment, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual because of age, or to classify or refer for employment any individual on the basis of age,” Olivarez said.

Employers with less than 20 employees shall be exempted from the prohibition of the bill.

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The act of segregating or classifying employees, which will deprive individuals of employment opportunity or otherwise adversely affect the status as an employee because of age shall be punishable by law.

The measure also prohibits the employer from reducing the wage rate of any employee by reason of age.

Any labor organization that shall exclude or expel from its membership or discriminate against any individual because of age shall have its registration suspended for one year for the first offense and cancelled for the second offense.

Also, an employer, labor organization or employment agency who prints or publishes any notice or advertisement relating to employment, membership or any classification or referral for employment indicating any preference, limitation, specification or discrimination based on age shall also be penalized.

An imprisonment of one year or a fine of not more than P500, 000 or both awaits violators. 

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