One concern that many individuals have when they have a criminal record is that their employment options will be limited. New Jersey understands that this is a major concern for some. In 2015, the state introduced the Opportunity to Compete Act. This law addresses exactly that concern and while it does not prohibit employers from refusing someone a job based on criminal history, it does give them a chance to get through the initial application process without acknowledging their record.
Of course, there are exemptions to the law. Individuals with a criminal record are not permitted to apply for jobs in homeland security, the judiciary, emergency management, or law enforcement. The Opportunity to Compete Act requires that an employer with 15 or more employees does not ask about a criminal record during the initial process of applying for a job. However, if the applicant moves on to additional steps in the application or interview process, the employer is permitted to inquire about a criminal history. If an individual does have a criminal history but their record has been expunged, an employer is not permitted to deny the applicant a job on the basis of criminal history.
It is important for individuals to know their employment rights in New Jersey. If you have questions about how this law may apply to you, contact us today.
The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced attorneys throughout the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Please contact the office to schedule a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding your specific case.