New Jersey “Ban-the-Box” Law Applies to Private Employers

Effective March 1, 2015 most employers with 15 or more employees are restricted as to when they inquire into a job applicant’s criminal history record (for employment in whole or substantial part within the state of New Jersey). In general an employer cannot inquire about criminal history on a job application and until after the 1st interview.

Employers cannot post job advertisements that state the employer will not consider individuals with a criminal history (unless posting for positions exempt from the law).

Exemptions include positions for law enforcement, corrections, the judiciary, homeland security, emergency management and positions where those with criminal records cannot legally be hired.

The law does not ban background checks but restricts when an employer can inquire into an applicant’s criminal history.

Take Away: Employers with employees in the State of New Jersey should carefully review their employment policies, procedures and forms to ensure that they are in compliance with the requirements of this new law.

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