AARP:What's it like to work here?
WASHINGTON, June 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- AARP has been named one of The Washington Post's 2019 Top Workplaces in the Washington, D.C. area. AARP is a 2019 award winner in the top 30 large employers category, rising to #11 from #14 last year. Selection is based solely on employee feedback gathered through an anonymous third-party survey administered by research partner Energage, LLC, which measured several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection.
"The commitment that AARP employees have to the work they do on behalf of people 50-plus and their families shines through every day," said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. "Because all of us at AARP believe so strongly in the organization's social mission, we've sought to make AARP an inspiring place to work and one where collaboration, innovation and inclusiveness are at the heart of everything we do. To learn that AARP is once again rated as a Top Workplace is a great honor."
"Now in its sixth year, The Post's Top Workplaces list continues to reflect companies in the region that cultivate a connection with their workforce," said Washington Post Top Workplaces editor Dion Haynes. "It's clear from the survey that these organizations share a commitment to providing support and an environment that makes employees feel valued and respected."
AARP is committed to attracting, inspiring and retaining its diverse, skilled and motivated workforce. AARP's benefits package is designed in alignment with its social impact agenda focused on financial resilience, health security, including caregiving, and personal fulfillment for people age 50-plus and their families. AARP employees are empowered to be everyday innovators in aging.
For more about The Washington Post's Top Workplaces and to see the full list of this year's honorees, visit https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/business/top-workplaces/.
AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.
About The Washington Post
The Washington Post is an award-winning news leader whose mission is to connect, inform, and enlighten local, national and global readers with trustworthy reporting, in-depth analysis and engaging opinions. It combines world-class journalism with the latest technology and tools so readers can interact with The Post anytime, anywhere.
About Energage, LLC
Headquartered in Exton, Pa., Energage (formerly known as WorkplaceDynamics) is a leading provider of technology-based employee engagement tools that help leaders to unlock potential, inspire performance, and achieve amazing results within their organizations. The research partner behind the Top Workplaces program, Energage has surveyed more than 47,000 organizations representing well over 16 million employees in the United States.
Local Employees: 1,424
Total employees: 2,306
Locations in D.C. area: 1
This powerful advocacy and lobbying organization represents the interests of the nation's elderly and aging population, but its mission is much broader than that. Life at AARP is built around the organization's purpose of "empowering people to choose how they live as they age," as one manager put it. A decade ago, it officially changed its name from the American Association of Retired Persons to simply AARP because surveys showed that about half of its members were still working. It is one of a diminishing pool of organizations in the United States that still offers pensions to new employees, something that is meant to underscore its commitment to offering solid retirement benefits. Employees seem to be motivated first and foremost by the benefits AARP provides to its members. "Every time I help a person reach their potential or find a living wage job with benefits I feel we have done our job," one employee wrote in a survey.
Computerworld included AARP’s on its annual list of the 100 Best Places to Work in IT for the fourth consecutive year. This year AARP ranked #2 among midsize organizations, up from sixth place last year.
AARP also ranked—across all 100 companies on the list—#2 for Benefits, #3 for Diversity, and #6 for training.
Congress should pass a bill that would improve protections for older adults in the workplace, an AARP official testified at a hearing Tuesday on the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA). The measure would reverse a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision that made it more difficult for people to win litigation after facing discrimination because of their age.
"Age discrimination in the workplace remains disturbingly pervasive,” said Laurie McCann, senior attorney for AARP Foundation, at the House Committee on Education and Labor hearing. “Three in five older workers report that they have seen or experienced age discrimination on the job. Discrimination is discrimination, and POWADA would make Congress’ intent clear that no amount of unlawful discrimination in the workplace is acceptable. Congress should pass POWADA as soon as possible."
The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers age 40 and older from being forced out of jobs or denied work opportunities because of their age. But in a 2009 ruling (Gross v. FBL Financial Services Inc.), the U.S. Supreme Court said older workers have to prove that their age was a decisive factor in the employer's decision to discipline or fire them, a much higher standard than had been required since the ADEA was enacted in 1967. Previously, it was sufficient to prove age was one of a number factors that played into such a decision. POWADA would amend the ADEA to restore the previous standards. Bipartisan groups of legislators in the House of Representatives and Senate introduced identical POWADA bills in February.
The proposed legislation clearly states that victims of age discrimination do not have to demonstrate that age was a deciding factor for the employer's action in order to prove their case.
Jack Gross, the plaintiff who lost that age discrimination case in 2009, attended the hearing Tuesday. In a separate conversation recorded for an episode of AARP's Take on Today podcast, Gross, who is now 70 and retired, said he is upset that a Supreme Court ruling that is referred to by his name is being used to hurt other older workers.
"This is a little bit about ego for me now,” Gross said. “There are a lot of people who had probably pretty good [age discrimination] cases who would have had their day in court, but they go to an attorney and their attorney says, ‘Well, after the decision in the Gross case, you know, these are so tough to prove we don't want to take anything on a contingency basis like this anymore.’ So, some of them just don't get off the ground, and when they do get there, the Gross v. FBL decision is cited time after time for denying anybody a reasonable chance of winning because the standard of proof has become almost insurmountable."
POWADA is sponsored by Reps. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa).
AARP is commemorating its 60th anniversary with the construction of fitness parks in local communities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. AARP partnered with an innovative nonprofit, FitLot,™ and worked with the local Parks and Recreation department to open its first fitness park in St. Petersburg, Florida on April 24. AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins, Mayor Rick Kriseman, and FitLot Co-Founder and Executive Director Adam Mejerson were on hand to welcome community members to the new park and try out the exercise equipment.
Over the next three years, 52 more fitness parks will open with more than a dozen planned for 2019. Check the Media Relations blog for details on upcoming and recent openings.
Each fitness park will be located in or near an outdoor park and will feature stationary equipment, such as an elliptical and stepper, that can be adapted to meet a wide range of fitness levels and abilities. The parks include ample floor space for group exercises and users can attach resistance bands to the upright beams of the structure at ankle, waist and shoulder height for more varied routines.
Public spaces are essential to a vibrant community. It’s no surprise that a recent AARP survey found that safe parks are among the top three community features people want in their neighborhoods. Some of the benefits outlined in AARP’s Creating Parks and Public Spaces for People of All Ages: A Step-by-Step Guide, include:
Improved physical and mental health.
Enhanced community connections.
Added economic value and cost saving benefits.
Cities where AARP is donating fitness parks will host a community-opening event or bring volunteers together for a community build day.
“These thinkers, speakers, and doers make bold choices and take big risks—and move others to do the same.”
About 24% of the U.S. workforce is 55 or above—and older workers face a disproportionate risk of being laid off. This spring, Jenkins rallied bipartisan support behind a long-dormant bill that would strengthen federal age discrimination laws. She’s also a dogged critic of prescription drug costs—a burden to which older workers and retirees alike are keenly vulnerable.
Older Americans are becoming a larger share of the pool of people employers turn to when it comes to finding on-call help for positions from management consulting to substitute teaching, according to a new report.
Between 2005 and 2017, the percentage of people age 55 and older working as independent contractors, freelancers and other types of on-call workers grew significantly, according to a report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a nonpartisan labor-related think tank that examined data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The share of these workers who were ages 55 to 64 rose from 18.8 percent in 2005 to 22.9 percent in 2017. For those ages 65 and older, the share climbed from 8.5 percent to 14.1 percent.
In total, the share of 55-and-older workers accounted for 37 percent of all independent contractors in 2017, up nearly 10 percentage points since 2005.
“We see a huge growth in work and employment by older Americans as the life expectancy increases and people are able to continue working,” says Eileen Appelbaum, a research associate at the EPI and coauthor of the report. “People are putting off retiring. People are living longer, and because they are living longer, many who have jobs that are not physically demanding, especially, are putting off retiring.”
Ready for your next job? AARP Resume Advisor can help
For some older people, independent contracting and on-call positions are attractive ways to ease into retirement or earn income after they have left the full-time workforce. The contracting option can offer an appealing combination of flexibility and extra money, as long as the worker can get health care coverage or save for retirement in other ways.
“I do it because I like it,” Jim Strang, 73, says of his job as a substitute teacher, the position that attracts the highest number of on-call workers between the ages of 55-64, according to the EPI report. “I really genuinely like it. I like the teachers; I like the kids; I like the administrators. It’s fun.”
Strang, who lives in Avon, Ohio, near Cleveland, started substitute teaching after he retired early from his career as a newspaper journalist. Teaching was new to him, but he was armed with his enthusiasm, his imposing build (6 feet 3 inches, 280 pounds) and “a beard to rival that of Dumbledore,” he says, referring to the wizard from the Harry Potter books.
“Many weeks I’ll work all five days, but if I don’t want to work, I don’t have to,” Strang says. He usually takes off at least one day a week to spend time with his wife, Peggy (they’ve been married for 45 years), and to run errands to the pharmacy and other places.
The overall pool of those doing on-call work (independent contractors, day laborers, people who work for temporary-help agencies, and other similar situations) accounted for 10.1 percent of the nation’s workforce in 2017, the EPI report reveals. That’s a small drop from 10.9 percent in 2005, which makes the growth of this kind of work among older Americans all the more remarkable. Older workers were already more likely than those in any other age group to do these types of jobs in 2005, and now they are even more likely to, according to the BLS data analyzed by the think tank.
“They’re retiring from the office,” says Sharon Emek, president and CEO of Work at Home Vintage Experts, a company that helps experienced workers find contract positions. “That’s really the key here. They’ve paid their dues. They now want to have the flexibility. They want to be able to choose the hours.”
The EPI report concludes by noting the importance of access to health care coverage for these older workers, whether it’s through Medicare, Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act.
“The issue with being a contract worker is, if they don’t have health insurance, it’s a problem,” Emek says. “A lot of people are tied to a job that they don’t want to be tied to because they need health insurance. They’re stuck on the job until they can get Medicare.”
Staying healthy might be the key to enabling these workers to stay on the job.
“We’re not living older longer; we’re living younger longer,” Emek says. “And people are going to need to continue to work, but in a way that makes their life more meaningful for them.”