Beginning on June 1, 2011, New Jersey employers are prohibited from discriminating against the unemployed in print and Internet job advertisements. Specifically, pursuant to section one of the recently-enacted statute, employers may not knowingly or purposefully publish a job posting that states any of the following:
- current employment is a job qualification;
- currently unemployed candidates will not be considered; or
- only currently employed job applicants will be considered.
The law, however, does not, prohibit an employer from publishing a job posting that only seeks applicants who are currently employed by that employer.
Section two of the job advertisement law provides that employers who violate the law are subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second violation and $10,000 for third and subsequent violations. Accordingly, in order to avoid these penalties and to ensue compliance with the law, employers should carefully review the qualifications listed in any job postings that will be published on or after June 1, 2011, as well as those postings that first may have been published prior to that date, but which will remain public thereafter.