New Jersey Makes it Illegal to Discriminate Against the Unemployed

Unemployed Many people feel it seems unfair, immoral and just plain mean to post a job opening that says, "apply only if you are currently employed," or "current employment required." Now it's also illegal for help wanted ads to discriminate against the unemployed -- at least in New Jersey.

Under the new law, which will go into effect on June 1, an employer can be fined from $1,000 to $10,000 per violation for advertising that you must have a job to get a job. Specifically, the new law states:

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No employer or employer's agent, representative, or designee shall knowingly or purposefully publish, in print or on the Internet, an advertisement for any job vacancy in this State that contains one or more of the following:

A. Any provision stating or suggesting that the qualifications for a job include current employment.

B. Any provision stating or suggesting that the employer or employer's agent, representative, or designee will not consider or review an application for employment submitted by any job applicant currently unemployed.

C. Any provision stating or suggesting that the employer or employer's agent, representative, or designee will only consider or review applications for employment submitted by job applicants who are currently employed.

The Employer Handbook blog notes that Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed the bill the first time it came across his desk, but signed it after the New Jersey state Senate amended it so that violators would not receive thousands of complaints about one single bad advertisement. The bill now states that there will be one fine per violation, collectible by the Commission of Labor and Workforce Development.

It will be interesting to see if any other states follow suit.

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell


Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.  Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, and many other media outlets.  Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on

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It is about time, someone stopped discriminating against the unemployed, since there are NOW SO MANY OF US RIGHT NOW. Also, they still discriminate based on race as well. I even had one person to question my AGE? This is also a violation of EEO Law. THE ONLY WAY TO STOP THESE COMPANIES, IS TO TURN THEM IN TO EEO. AFTER ALL, THIS IS WHY THIS ORGANIZATION WAS CREATED.

April 27 2011 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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