On June 30, 2014, the New Jersey Legislature passed a bill (S1440) that would add unemployed applicants to the growing list of protected classes under New Jersey law. First referenced in the March 2014 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority, the bill would prohibit an employer from discriminating against applicants based on their present or past unemployment. The initial bill was amended by the Senate Labor Committee in March to clarify an employer’s right to research an applicant’s employment history, and also to confirm that there is no private cause of action available under the law. (Violations of the proposed law would instead result in fines of $1,000 for a first offense, $5,000 for a second offense, and $10,000 for a third offense.) The bill is now before Governor Christie for his consideration.
Note: This article was also published in the July 17, 2014 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority