On June 1, 2011, a new law in New Jersey will take effect forbidding business from discriminating against job applicants who are unemployed. Under this law, New Jersey employers may not advertise job openings in New Jersey that contain one or more of the following three items:
- Anything stating that the qualifications for a job include current employment;
- Anything stating that the employer or employer’s agent, representative, or designee will not consider or review an application for employment submitted by any job applicant currently unemployed; or
- Anything stating that the employer or employer’s agent, representative, or designee will only consider or review applications for employment submitted by job applicants who are currently employed.
First time violators will be fined $1,000 fine and repeat offenders $5,000. Three or more “strikes” will result $10,000 fine per incident.
After Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill, the New Jersey State Senate amended the bill to provide that there could be no right to sue an employer. This amendment saves violators of the law from the threat of litigation based on a single bad advertisement. For now, the worst that can happen is a fine collectible by the Commission of Labor and Workforce Development.