New Jersey Hiring laws & HR compliance analysis

New Jersey Hiring: What you need to know

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) prohibits hiring practices that discriminate based on race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, affectational or sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, sex, gender identity or expression, disability (including acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection) or atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, liability for military service, nationality, and refusal to submit to a genetic test or make available the results of a genetic test (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 10:5-1 et seq.). The law covers all employers regardless of size. The law provides an exception allowing an employer to use sex as the basis for hiring decisions if it is a bona fide occupational qualification (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.
Criminal history. The Opportunity to Compete Act bans the box on job applications that require applicants to disclose criminal history information (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 34:6B-11et seq). The law prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from inquiring about a prospective employee’s criminal history in the initial employment application. For purposes of calculating the 15-employee threshold, employers must count employees who work inside or outside the state.
Employers are also prohibited from asking questions about the applicant’s background during the initial interview, although questions about the applicant’s criminal history can be asked ...

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