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New Jersey Upgrades Ban-the-Box Law to Cover Inquiries Into Expunged Criminal Records

Authors: Michael J. Riccobono (Morristown), Gustavo A. Suarez (Greenville)

Published Date: December 29, 2017

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 O-D Comply: Background Checks subscription materials, which are updated and provided to O-D Comply subscribers as the law changes.

Michael J. Riccobono  (Morristown)

Michael J. Riccobono
Michael J. Riccobono is an employment litigator who regularly defends employers against single- and multi-plaintiff discrimination, harassment, whistleblower, retaliation, and non-competition/non-solicitation matters before both state and federal courts and government agencies. He has represented employers of all sizes and from a number of different industries, ranging from international Fortune 500 corporations to closely-held and family businesses, in the financial, pharmaceutical,...

Gustavo A. Suarez  (Greenville)

Gustavo A. Suarez
Gustavo (“Gus”) Suárez assists employers with a broad range of employment law issues, including federal, state, and local background check and e-signature law (including single-plaintiff and class action defense); EEOC investigations and charges; and immigration compliance (including I-9 training and internal audits). He also regularly counsels management on Title VII issues. Gus is a regular, highly-rated speaker on topics like background check law, e-signature requirements,...