Jersey Says Businesses Can’t Ask Applicants About Criminal History

The state passes “ban the box” legislation.


New Jersey has passed “ban the box” legislation barring employers from asking job seekers on applications if they have a criminal history. If a job seeker makes it to the interview stage based on their other qualifications, the employer may still ask about a worker’s criminal past at the end of the interview.

"They're judged basically just on the information that they fill out. They get an interview and they can tell their story. They can certainly tell what they did in life and where they are now," State Sen. Sandra Cunningham, tells Newsworks. "It gives them an opportunity to compete."

Senate President Steve Sweeney added: "Banning the box by giving people a second chance in life, it's what we tell people. Why do they keep going back to jail? Because we don't give them a chance. This is simple."

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  • DTurner

    That seems fair, better to have the criminal background come up in the interview process where the applicant can at least explain the situation.

  • Joseph

    However… You can still be asked if you’re currently employed, which is a major obstacle, as many employers won’t even consider someone who is unemployed.