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N.J. may add another protected category: the unemployed

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in Hiring,Human Resources

It may soon be illegal for New Jersey employers to discriminate against applicants because they are unemployed.

The State Assembly in October passed legislation prohibiting employers and recruiters from placing anything in job ads that would discourage unemployed persons from applying.

The legislation came after numerous complaints from unemployed job-seekers claiming that employers have used applicants’ current job status as a hiring criterion. Under current law, that practice is legal.

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Employers or recruiters who violate the law would face a $5,000 fine for the first offense and $10,000 for each subsequent violation.

Final note: When employers are bombarded with applications, it can be tempting to find a way to eliminate a large group of candidates. But make sure the reason is legitimate. The goal is to hire the best person for the job.

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