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On March 1, 2015, the state of New Jersey will become the latest state to “ban the box.” As we reported in a previous blog, the Opportunity to Compete Act was signed by Governor Chris Christie in August 2014. Here are some important highlights of the law:

  • It applies to all employers (public or private) with 15 or more employees over 20 calendar weeks.
  • Employers cannot ask about an applicant’s criminal record until after the first interview.
  • 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).
  • The law does not prohibit employers from performing a background check at a later stage in the hiring process.

As a reminder to employers, review your application forms and other documents to ensure that they comply with the law. And if you have any questions about compliance issues, Corporate Screening will be happy to assist you.