Diana Furchtgott-Roth, senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think-tank in Washington, D.C., said it would be bad policy to have programs favoring one population over another.
She spoke in favor of "more job opportunities for all" with "older workers benefitting as much as" younger workers by providing "certainty to the tax system" for job creators.
Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project in Washington, D.C., testified that helping older workers is "not a zero sum game," and that worker advocates "don't want to pick winners and losers."
Whitelaw acknowledges that age discrimination in the hiring process is difficult to prove and few unemployed workers would take the time to pursue legal action over a job rejection rather than look for another job.
Whitelaw said she is not sure what kind of policy would prevent age employment discrimination, just that she hopes to get a job.
"Life is exceedingly hard," said Whitelaw, who is working with a social worker to find subsidized housing. "I need to and I can work."