Once the law takes effect, an employer may ask about and consider a job applicant’s criminal history after it interviews the applicant with a key exception being that a covered employer may not refuse to hire an applicant on the basis of a criminal record that has been expunged or erased through executive pardon. Certain employers such as law enforcement, corrections bureaus, the judiciary, the U.S. Government, emergency management, and employers whose jobs by law disqualify an applicant with a criminal conviction are exempt from these requirements. Also exempt are domestic workers, independent contractors, directors and trustees.
The new law specifically bars any private cause of action for a violation. However, an employer is subject to civil penalties, starting at $1,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second violation, and $10,000 for the third and subsequent violations.
These new requirements take effect in six months. Employers should begin consulting with legal counsel to ensure that their hiring process forms, job applications and hiring policies are in compliance with the new legislation. Legal compliance should include educating managers, supervisors, and recruiting personnel regarding these new standards to ensure they are pushed down into the organization.
If you have any questions or for more information about the requirements of the ban-the-box legislation and its impact on your business’s hiring procedures, please contact Patrick W. McGovern, Esq., at 973-535-7129, email@example.com or Allison Gotfried, Esq., at 973-646-3297, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: Human Resources • Criminal Conviction • Ban the Box • New Jersey Employers • ban the box • criminal history • criminal conviction • hiring process • background checks