Back in August 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed “The Opportunity to Compete Act”, also known as Ban the Box. This made it unlawful for companies with 15 or more employees to advertise that people with criminal records need to apply. Covered companies also cannot inquire about criminal history, from the time an applicant inquires about an opening until the first job interview is completed.
Last month, Governor Christie affixed his signature to bipartisan legislation, which closes some loopholes in the law:
Now, the law is clear that online inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history are forbidden. Also, to the extent that employers were asking about expunged criminal records, well, those are now off limits too.
Just ask a plaintiff who not only lost on her state and federal discrimination and retaliation claims but, according to a New Jersey federal judge, “willfully deceived” both the employer-defendant and the Court “in bad faith and manipulated the judicial process.”
So, earlier this week, the judge really dropped the hammer. Please, Hammer, don’t hurt ’em. Continue reading
It’s kind of like one of those “your mama is so fat” one-up challenges I always used to giggle at on the school bus back in seventh grade. Except, instead of outdoing each other with “your mama” jokes, it’s employee-friendly legislation. And, no one is laughing.
Here’s what may be on tap for NJ workplaces.