New Jersey Pre-Employment Inquiries (Interviewing) laws & HR compliance analysis

New Jersey Pre-Employment Inquiries (Interviewing): What you need to know

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) prohibits employment practices that discriminate based on race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, sex (including sexual harassment), gender identity or expression, disability (including acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection), atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, liability for military service, nationality, or for the refusal to submit to a genetic test or make the test results available to an employer (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 10:5-1 et seq.). The Law covers all employers, regardless of size. The LAD does not expressly address preemployment inquiries. However, it does prohibit employers from discriminating in any job-related action, including recruitment, interviewing, hiring, promotions, discharge, compensation, and the terms, conditions, and privileges of employment based on any protected characteristic. Any differential treatment, statement, or conduct that indicates a limitation, preference, or bias based on a protected characteristic may constitute evidence of unlawful discrimination.
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A separate state law prohibits employers from refusing to hire or otherwise discriminating against an individual because he or she does or does not smoke or use tobacco products (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 34:6B-1).
Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception. Under the LAD, an employer may make an employment inquiry about an applicant’s sex if sex is a BFOQ for the job in question. For example, being female would be a legitimate BFOQ for a person applying for a job as a ...

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