A controversial bill which recently advanced through the NJ Assembly may give people with criminal backgrounds a real second chance. Assembly bill A3837 would delay companies with at least 15 employees from conducting background checks on potential employees – until such time as the individual has been offered a job. If passed, this would allow a reformed criminal to interview based on skills and merits, without the gray cloud of a criminal background hanging over their heads.
We’ve all seen the question on job applications. If you have a criminal background, checking “yes” in the box and rehashing the past is not something you want to do. In fact, many people feel that they are denied interviews based on their answers to those types of questions.
NJ Bill A3837 is aimed at helping people who have done their time, reintegrate back into society without the stigma of their past transgressions following them. If an employer has to choose between hiring someone with a criminal background or someone without, it seems logical that the latter would have a decided advantage. If this bill passes, that won’t be information employers can use any longer; it would be removed from applications.
Supporters of the bill say that a person should be allowed to move forward with their lives after serving out their time, without having to suffer the life sentence of being a former convict. By attaching the criminal stain to a person, it becomes difficult for them to attain adequate employment, and as a result, statistically, many end up imprisoned again.
Have you dealt with discrimination at work, or been denied employment because of gender, religion or ethnicity? Don’t idly stand by and let it happen. If you feel you’ve been discriminated against in the workplace, contact the NJ employment law attorneys at Team Law for a free consultation at 1-800-TEAM-LAW or 732-388-5454.