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The city of Newark, NJ recently passed an ordinance (Newark, N.J. Ordinance 12-1630) that greatly impacts an employer’s ability to conduct criminal background checks. The ordinance affects any employer with a physical location in Newark with five or more employees, and goes into effect on November 18, 2012.

Essentially, the Newark ordinance is a “ban the box” law that prevents employers from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history until a conditional offer of employment has been made. The ordinance is somewhat unique, in that private employers must comply with the ordinance. Generally, when these types of regulations are passed by cities they only affect government employers within the city.

The ordinance effects only employers located in Newark, NJ but it speaks to a larger trend throughout the country in regards to an employer’s use of an individual’s criminal record history in making a hiring decision. The requirements regarding the consideration of individuals with criminal records for employment are analogous to the guidelines published by the EEOC in April of this year.

Corporate Screening expects to this trend continue throughout the country and will monitor legislation throughout the states.

If you would like more information regarding the Newark NJ ordinance or EEOC guidelines, please contact your account representative.