TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce’s bill expanding age discrimination protections for working seniors was signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday.
“Some seniors have to keep working because of New Jersey’s high cost of living, while others just find their careers very rewarding. Either way, their age should not hold them back from finding fulfillment in the workplace,” DeCroce (R-Morris) said. “This new law eradicates the discriminatory practices that hurt experienced employees who want to stay in the workforce past age 70.”
The measure (A681) prohibits employers from refusing to hire or promote a person solely because a person is over 70, bans higher education institutions from requiring tenured employees to retire at 70, and holds government employers to higher standards when setting mandatory retirement ages.
“Current and potential employees should be evaluated on their skill sets, performance history and credentials – not the date on their birth certificates,” DeCroce added.
According to AARP-NJ, workers 65 and older are the fastest growing labor pool. Workers who are 50 and older will make up 35 percent of the workforce by 2022. The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data shows more than 21 percent of adults in the state over 65 are currently working.
The law does not make changes to the New Jersey Constitution, which includes mandatory retirement for Supreme Court justices and some other judges upon reaching age 70, and Police and Firemen’s Retirement System members.