All employers who post for job applicants in New Jersey should be aware that on June 1, 2011 a new law takes effect in New Jersey prohibiting employers from excluding unemployed individuals in advertisements for available jobs. Public Law 2011, Chapter 40 prohibits employers, including their agents, representatives and designees, from knowingly and purposefully publishing, in print or on the Internet, an advertisement for job openings in New Jersey that include one of the following:
- a provision stating that the qualifications for a job include current employment
- a provision stating 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, and/or
- a provision stating 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.
This law does not create a private cause of action by an aggrieved individual against an employer who has violated or is alleged to have violated this law. However, employers who violate this law may be fined a maximum of $1,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second violation and $10,000 for each subsequent violation. The Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development will collect these fines in a summary proceeding against an employer.
Under this law, employers are not prohibited from publishing advertisements for job vacancies that contain specific requirements for the job, such as a minimum level of education or experience or the holding of a professional license or certificate. Additionally, the law does not bar employers from publishing an employment advertisement that includes a provision that only applicants who are current employees of that employer will be considered for the position.
Employers should carefully review any job postings to ensure that they do not contain any language regarding currently unemployed candidates.