New Jersey Makes it Illegal to Discriminate Against the Unemployed

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Unemployed Many people feel it seems unfair, immoral and just plain mean to post a job opening that says, "apply only if you are currently employed," or "current employment required." Now it's also illegal for help wanted ads to discriminate against the unemployed -- at least in New Jersey.

Under the new law, which will go into effect on June 1, an employer can be fined from $1,000 to $10,000 per violation for advertising that you must have a job to get a job. Specifically, the new law states:

No employer or employer's agent, representative, or designee shall knowingly or purposefully publish, in print or on the Internet, an advertisement for any job vacancy in this State that contains one or more of the following:

A. Any provision stating or suggesting that the qualifications for a job include current employment.

B. Any provision stating or suggesting 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.

C. Any provision stating or suggesting 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.

The Employer Handbook blog notes that Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed the bill the first time it came across his desk, but signed it after the New Jersey state Senate amended it so that violators would not receive thousands of complaints about one single bad advertisement. The bill now states that there will be one fine per violation, collectible by the Commission of Labor and Workforce Development.

It will be interesting to see if any other states follow suit.


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