No More “Unemployed Need Not Apply Ads” Allowed in New Jersey

UnemployedNeedNotApply

By Eric B. Meyer

In just over a month, a new law in the state of New Jersey forbidding business for discriminating against unemployed job candidates will take effect.

You can find a copy of the new law here. Under this new law, New Jersey businesses may not advertise job openings in New Jersey that contain one or more of the following three items:

  1. Any provision stating that the qualifications for a job include current employment;
  2. Any provision 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
  3. Any provision 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 get tagged with a $1,000 fine. Repeat offenders will be fined $5,000. Three or more strikes will earn you a $10,000 fine per incident.

No private cause of action for aggrieved individuals

Notably, after Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed the bill the first time it came across his desk, the New Jersey state Senate amended the bill to provide that aggrieved individuals may not assert private causes of action against a New Jersey business that allegedly violates the law. This amendment saves violators from a potential tidal wave of complaints 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.

The new law will take effect on June 1, 2011.

This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.