December 5, 2022

Legal BUX

Law Blog

Do New Jersey Laws Prohibit Discrimination Against Unemployed Job Applicants?

New Jersey employment laws protect employees from unfair policies and practices that obstruct job searches. For instance, employers cannot refuse to hire nondiscriminatory applicants on account of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability or age under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD).

Discriminating against unemployed applicants is an employment issue that does not attract as much attention as other employment discrimination issues. It is harder for someone who has been unemployed for a long time to find a job. Although New Jersey’s anti-discrimination law does not go as far as other anti-discrimination laws, it does protect against this type of prejudice.

To effectively exercise your rights, speak to a Paramus sexual harassment lawyer if you are going through a conflict with your employer. Legal experts will continue to closely monitor relevant legislation and case law that impacts employee rights.

The Fed looked at statistics from 2007-09, which saw unemployment rates as high as 10%. The COVID-19 epidemic has had an impact on employment rates. Many people lost their employment due to the pandemic and are looking for work. Discrimination in the workplace can be a significant roadblock.

Because of the pandemic’s massive economic impact, many hiring managers might be understanding of someone with a gap in their résumé. Alternatively, other hiring managers may look at a crack in a CV and conclude that they would still be employed if the candidate were any good.

New Jersey’s legislature enacted legislation in 2011 prohibiting employers from advertising that a job offer is only available to current employees or that employers won’t consider applications from job applicants who aren’t already employed. Employers are still permitted to base their hiring decisions on an applicant’s employment status, despite the law. The law only allows for a civil penalty to be paid to the state. Civil actions on behalf of private individuals are not permitted.

While acts that appear to be discrimination based on unemployment are not illegal in New Jersey, they may violate the law in other ways.

This sort of prejudice, for example, may be disproportionately applied to older job candidates. 

As a result of the NJLAD and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), age discrimination is prohibited. Employers and job applicants under forty are subject to the ADEA, whereas all Americans are subject to the NJLAD.