The “ban the box” bill, recently modified and approved by the NJ State Legislature, is now awaiting approval by NJ Gov. Chris Christie. If he signs it, New Jersey employers will be prohibited from inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal background until after a first interview – unless the applicant brings it up.
However, if you’ve been convicted of serious crimes such as arson, homicide or kidnapping, you will not be covered by this legislation. Further, if you are applying for a job in law enforcement, corrections, homeland security, emergency management or the judiciary, companies will be permitted to do a criminal background check.
After the first interview, companies can ask about criminal histories. However, an employer is restricted from indicating in a job advertisement that they have a bias against someone with a criminal history.
Companies that violate this law, should it pass, will be subject to fines. The bill’s purpose is to allow convicted criminals to reenter society more easily. Often times, people who have just been released from jail have trouble shaking the stigma their criminal past.
Team Law is one of the leading employment law practices in the state of New Jersey. If you’ve been discriminated against, treated unfairly or forced to work in a hostile environment, you may have cause to take legal action. Contact us today to discuss your case.