As a reminder to New Jersey employers, the New Jersey Opportunity to Compete Act, which took effect March 1, forbids employers – both public and private – with 15 or more employees from asking job applicants about criminal histories on job applications and during initial interviews. Employers should objectively evaluate prospective employees before delving into – and potentially being negatively swayed by – their possible criminal histories. Background checks can be conducted after the initial interview.
The law has some exemptions, such as emergency services and law enforcement occupations.
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