New Jersey Bars Bias Against the Unemployed in Job Advertising

Effective June 1, 2011, New Jersey law P.L. 2011, Ch. 40, prohibits employers from publishing job advertisements which discriminate against unemployed individuals. Specifically, the new law prohibits employers, except as permitted by law, from “knowingly or purposefully” publishing in print or on the Internet a job vacancy advertisement containing any of the following:
  • Any provision stating that qualifications for the job include current employment;

  • Any provision stating that the employer will not consider or review an application for employment submitted by any unemployed job applicant; or

  • Any provision stating that the employer will only consider or review applications submitted by employed job applicants.

Employers are permitted to use internal job postings in which the employer publishes a job advertisement specifying that it will hire only persons who currently are employed by the employer.

Any employer who violates the Act may be subject to a maximum civil penalty of $1,000.00 for the first violation, $5,000.00 for the second violation, and $10,000.00 for each subsequent violation, as imposed and collected by the New Jersey Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development. The law does not grant individuals the right to sue employers for violations.

Practice Pointer: Employers should review all print and Internet job advertisements, including any advertisements published through social media such as LinkedIn or Facebook, to ensure that the advertisements do not dissuade unemployed individuals from applying for employment or express a preference for employed individuals. Employers also should review their job advertisements to ensure that all advertisements contain language stating that the employer is an equal opportunity employer and that all individuals, regardless of whether they are employed currently, may apply for vacancies.

For additional information on this topic, please contact Douglas S. Zucker at dsz@zuckerhatfield.com  or Kathryn V. Hatfield at kvh@zuckerhatfield.com.

ZUCKER HATFIELD LLC
871 Mountain Avenue
Suite 200
Springfield, New Jersey 07081
973-376-4000
www.zuckerhatfield.com