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In July, Corporate Screening published a client alert that reported New Jersey’s legislature had approved a “ban the box” bill. In an update to the client alert, Forbes.com recently reported that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the bill into law and it will become effective on March 1, 2015.

Some of the highlights of the law:
• It applies to all employers (public and private) with 15 or more employees over 20 calendar weeks.
• Employers cannot ask about an applicant’s criminal record until they have done the following: conducted an interview, determined that the applicant is qualified for the position, and selected the applicant as the first choice to fill the position.
• Employers are prohibited from posting job ads that state candidates who have been arrested or convicted of a crime will not be considered (unless the ad is for an exempt position, such as law enforcement, corrections, or if a background check is legally required).

One important thing to note is that under the new law, local governments may not enact their own “ban the box” laws. Thus, the new law pre-empts existing local-level laws (note, this new law will pre-empt Newark’s “ban the box” law).

As a reminder, please review your applications and hiring processes to ensure they comply with all state and/or local regulations. If you have any concerns or questions, Corporate Screening’s account representatives are available to help you.