As reported in the April 2011 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority, New Jersey passed a statute prohibiting employers from publishing job advertisements that prohibited or discouraged unemployed individuals from submitting applications. On July 5, 2011, the Department of Labor proposed regulations designed to implement the statute. The proposed regulations provide that a violation occurs when an employer knowingly or purposefully publishes an advertisement for a job vacancy that contains: 1) a promise stating that qualifications include current employment; 2) a promise that the employer will not consider applications from unemployed applicants; or 3) a provision stating that the employer will consider applications from employed applicants only.
The proposed regulations would establish a penalty of up to $1,000 for the first violation, up to $5,000 for the second violation, and up to $10,000 for the third and subsequent violations. The proposed regulations create exceptions for provisions setting forth licensing and other educational requirements. In addition, each employer would remain free to require that only applicants who are currently employed by that employer will be considered. The comment period closed on September 3, 2011, and the Department is likely to issue the final regulations soon.