The New Jersey Senate wants to make sure that employers will no longer be able to discriminate against unemployed applicants looking for work. In a 23-13 vote, the State Senate passed a bill that will make it illegal for employers to discriminate against job applicants based solely on their current or past employment status. Employers who fail to consider applicants for employment because they are currently unemployed would be required to pay hefty fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 based on the number of their violations. The bill must be approved by the State Assembly and ratified by the Governor to become law.
Proponents of Bill S1440 claim that the unemployed in New Jersey have been discriminated against by employers who only consider candidates who are currently working. Based on data collected in recent years, lobbyists believe that the unemployed become discouraged by repeated rejections from companies they’ve applied to for positions that they are qualified to fill. Though employers would still be permitted to ask about an applicant’s work history and reasons for leaving a job, they would not be able to base their hiring decisions simply on an applicant’s current or past employment status. The bill will also allow companies to continue to promote from within so long as their decision to do so is not based on wanting to hire only those already employed.
Earlier this year, a New Jersey Appellate Court upheld a decision that prohibits companies from posting job openings that specifically state that only currently employed applicants may apply for a position. The S1440 bill would expand on this making it illegal for an employer to base their hiring decision solely on the grounds that an applicant is currently or previously unemployed. The Senate vote for bill S1440 is promising, but the Assembly’s approval is still pending. State Senator Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic) sponsored the bill and is hopeful that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will ratify the bill following House approval.
New Jersey Employment Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Advocate for Victims of Job Discrimination
For more information on job discrimination in New Jersey, call Sidney L. Gold & Associates at 215-569-1999 or fill out our online contact form. Our experienced and knowledgeable Pennsylvania and New Jersey employment law attorneys will review the details of your case and advise you of the best legal strategy available.