On December 20, 2017, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law Senate Bill 3306, which expands the state’s ban-the-box law by explicitly prohibiting employers from inquiring into an applicant’s expunged criminal history.

Effective immediately, the law requires employers to refrain from:

(a)    requiring New Jersey applicants to complete any employment application that includes inquiries into that individual’s expunged criminal history; or

(b)   making any written or oral inquiries into a New Jersey applicant’s expunged criminal record during the initial employment application process.

Additionally, the new law makes clear that employers may not use an online application that requires the disclosure of an applicant’s criminal record, including an expunged criminal record, during the initial application process.

These restrictions are in addition to the existing New Jersey State ban-the-box requirements, which went into effect in 2015.

Key Takeaways

Employers should continue to comply with New Jersey’s existing ban-the-box requirements, while being careful to ensure that they do not inquire into a New Jersey applicant’s expunged criminal history.

Federal, state, and local background check laws relevant to employers, as well as compliant background check forms and letters, are provided in the OD Comply: Background Checks subscription materials, which are updated and provided to OD Comply subscribers as the law changes.

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Background Checks

Background checks are a trending topic for employers because of the tidal wave of class action lawsuits alleging technical violations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act as well as the proliferation of state and local background check laws (including those arising from the Ban the Box movement).

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