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.
The NJ law takes effect immediately.
And for those of you outside of NJ wondering about whether the state(s)/locality(ies) in which you operated “ban the box,” you should check out this resource. (Although, I’m not sure when it was last updated).