FFE Magazine

Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Bill Filed in Philippine Congress

By FFE Philippine News Staff

Discrimination has made employment for older workers grueling. But this may be changed with the introduction of House Bill 268. The bill, proposed by rep. Eric Olivarez of the 1st District of Parañaque City as the “Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 2013,” seeks to protect an older worker’s rights concerning compensation and conditions of employment.

Olivarez notes that older workers face greater incidence of displacement or rejection due to age discrimination. He asserts that potential for job performance is often overlooked by employers on the grounds of age, leading to the deterioration of skills and morale.

House Bill 268 states that it is unlawful for employers or employment agencies to refuse to hire or accept membership of individuals and discriminate against them by reason of age. Wage reduction and any manner of segregation leading to opportunity deprivation are also deemed unlawful.

Older workers are also protected from labor organizations which discriminate because of age. In addition, employers, employment agencies and labor organizations are prohibited from printing or publishing materials that indicate preference, limitations and other forms of age discrimination.

Businesses and institutions that recognize bona fide occupational qualification based on age or that are based in a foreign country where compliance may violate the laws of that country are exempted from the provisions of the bill. Employers with less than 20 employees are also exempted.

Penalized employers, agencies and organizations face imprisonment of six months to a year and a fine of PHP100,000 to PHP500,000 at the discretion of the court. The discriminating employers, agencies or organizations also face suspension for the first offense and cancellation for the second violation.

The bill also provides that where the accused is a juridical person, the penalty shall be imposed on the person responsible for the violation. If the accused is an alien, he or she shall also be deported after the sentence is served.

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