New Jersey Advertising laws & HR compliance analysis

New Jersey Advertising: What you need to know

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) prohibits all employers from printing or circulating (or causing to be printed or circulated) any statement, advertisement, or publication; from using any form of application for employment; or from making an inquiry in connection with prospective employment that expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification, or discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, nationality, sex (including pregnancy), liability for service in the armed forces, and refusal to submit to a genetic test or make available the results of a genetic test unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 10:5-1).
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The NJLAD provides an exception allowing an employer to use sex as the basis for hiring decisions if it is a BFOQ reasonably necessary for the normal operation of the particular business. However, BFOQs are interpreted very narrowly, and employers should use caution when making employment decisions based on a BFOQ exception.
Employers and their agents are also prohibited from knowingly publishing in print or on the Internet any job advertisement that:
• Announces that unemployed individuals need not apply for the vacancy,
• States that qualifications for the job include current employment, or
• States that applications by persons currently unemployed will not be considered or reviewed (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 34:8B-1).
Also, employers are permitted to publish in print or on the Internet job postings requiring current employment at that company (internal candidates).
Employers that violate this law are subject to civil penalties of $1,000 for a first violation, $5,000 for a second offense, and $10,000 for each subsequent violation. The commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development enforces the law (

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