Christie Signs “Ban the Box” Legislation

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On August 11, 2014, Governor Chris Christie signed into law the Opportunity to Compete Act, joining the national trend of “ban the box” legislation.  The Legislature passed the underlying bill in June.

The new law prohibits employer inquiries into a job applicant’s criminal record during the initial application process.  Therefore, under the legislation, employers cannot require applicants to complete an initial application that asks about their criminal history, cannot post job advertisements stating that they do not consider anyone with a criminal background, and cannot ask questions about prior arrests or convictions during an applicant’s first interview.

The measure is designed to create a hiring process that is more favorable to individuals who have a criminal history.  The legislation imposes civil penalties for violations of its provisions.  For more information on the new law and how it applies to your business, please contact Connell Foley’s labor and employment law attorneys.