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New Jersey Upgrades Ban-the-Box Law to Cover Inquiries Into Expunged Criminal Records

On December 20, 2017, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law Senate Bill 3306, which expands the state’s ban-the-box law by explicitly prohibiting employers from inquiring into an applicant’s expunged criminal history.

Effective immediately, the law requires employers to refrain from:

(a)    requiring New Jersey applicants to complete any employment application that includes inquiries into that individual’s expunged criminal history; or

(b)   making any written or oral inquiries into a New Jersey applicant’s expunged criminal record during the initial employment application process.

Additionally, the new law makes clear that employers may not use an online application that requires the disclosure of an applicant’s criminal record, including an expunged criminal record, during the initial application process.

These restrictions are in addition to the existing New Jersey State ban-the-box requirements, which went into effect in 2015. 

Key Takeaways

Employers should continue to comply with New Jersey’s existing ban-the-box requirements, while being careful to ensure that they do not inquire into a New Jersey applicant’s expunged criminal history.

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About this Author

Michael J. Riccobono, Ogletree Deakins, multiplaintiff discrimination lawyer, harassment attorney
Associate

Michael J. Riccobono is an employment litigator who regularly defends employers against single- and multi-plaintiff discrimination, harassment, whistleblower, retaliation, and non-competition/non-solicitation matters before both state and federal courts and government agencies.  He has represented employers of all sizes and from a number of different industries, ranging from international Fortune 500 corporations to closely-held and family businesses, in the financial, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and insurance industries.  In addition to handling complex employment...

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Gustavo Suarez, Gus, Employment Law Attorney, counseling, background checks, EEOC, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm
Of Counsel

Gustavo (“Gus”) Suárez assists employers with a broad range of employment law issues, including counseling on federal and state background check and e-signature law; investigating and defending EEOC charges; advising on immigration compliance issues (including I-9 training and internal audits); and defending Title VII, defamation, and breach of contract lawsuits against employers.

Gus regularly speaks at employment conferences on topics like background check law, I-9 compliance, and the South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act.

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