The New Jersey Legislature just passed a bill that would prohibit employers from discriminating against unemployed applicants. The proposed statute has not been signed into law by Governor Christie. The legislation prevents employers from publishing an advertisement on the internet or in print announcing or suggesting that unemployed candidates cannot apply for the open position. The first offense would result in a possible penalty of $5,000 and $10,000 for each additional offense.
Although this legislation sounds like a step in the right direction, it does not amend the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination to include employment status as a protected characteristic. It only prevents employers from announcing that they are not going to interview or consider people for a position if they are out of work. It does not change the fact that they may allow the unemployed to apply for the job, but not seriously consider them for the position.
11/27/10 – Tom McKinney – Castronovo & McKinney