Employment Discrimination Against the Unemployed

The state of New Jersey is considered one of the most employee-friendly states in the country when it comes to fighting against discrimination. The state has a robust anti-discrimination law known as NJLAD, or New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, which identifies discrimination against those who fall into a long list of protected categories as unlawful. Included in that list are ancestry, color, creed, race, genetic information and liability for military service, and others. The state was also the first in the country to make it against the law for employers to specify in employment ads that unemployed candidates will not be considered. Legislation was passed and signed into law in 2011 specifically prohibiting discrimination against unemployed job applicants.

According to the new law, an employer is not permitted to publish an advertisement either on the Internet or in print that includes any of the following:

  • An indication that a job’s qualifications include being currently employed
  • An indication that the employer will not review an application or give consideration to an applicant that is not currently employed
  • An indication that the employer will only review an application or give consideration to an applicant that is currently employed.

The law does preserve the employer’s right to require valid or current professional licenses or credentials appropriate to the posted position, as well as their right to limit their applicant pool to their own current employees and hire from within their own organization. The law does not specifically prohibit employers from refusing to hire people because they are unemployed.

Those employers who are found to be in violation of these laws are subject to a $1,000 fine for a first time violation and a subsequent fine of $5,000 for a second violation. Those who continue to violate the law face a $10,000 penalty, which is collectible by the state. Individuals are not able to pursue these actions on their own or to claim damages for these violations.
If you have been the subject of workplace discrimination based on your employment status or you have been punished or retaliated against as a result of complaining about it, please call us.  Our experienced and knowledgeable employment law attorneys at Schorr & Associates will work hard to achieve justice for you.

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