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NJ Criminal Lawyer Reports: New Jersey’s Ban the Box Legislation Becomes Law, Helping Convicted Criminals Gain Employment

April 07, 2015

NJ Criminal Lawyer Reports: New Jersey’s “Ban the Box” Legislation Becomes Law, Helping Convicted Criminals Gain Employment

Individuals with criminal convictions often have a difficult time obtaining employment after serving their jail sentences.  A recently passed New Jersey law hopes to change that.  Last month New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law the “Opportunity to Compete Act” that prohibits employers in certain fields from inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal history on initial job applications. The new law also disallows published job advertisements to include language that states that individuals with criminal records will not be considered.

Nicknamed the “Ban the Box” law in reference to a box on many job applications which requires individuals to indicate whether they have been convicted of a crime, the law postpones an employer’s inquiries as to the criminal history of an applicant until the initial hiring process is complete. Only after an employer conducts an initial interview, makes the determination that an applicant is qualified for the position and selects the applicant as their first choice for the position can the employer ask about the applicant’s criminal history.  The law also prohibits an employer from questioning an applicant about expunged criminal records, arrests that did not result in convictions, convictions of some lesser crimes and convictions over ten years old.

Supporters of the new law believe it will allow many job applicants to present themselves to employers without the stigma of a criminal conviction during at the least the first round of interviews. Employers are not prevented from asking about an applicant’s criminal history in the later stages of the job interview process and prior to making a formal job offer.

Employers with 15 or more employees will be subject to this new law which goes into effect on March 1, 2015. Certain positions including those in law enforcement, the judiciary, homeland security and emergency management will be exempt from the law.  Penalties for breaking the new law will include significant fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Lawyer Michele Finizio Assists Individuals Charged with Criminal Offenses in Camden, NJ

If you have been arrested and/or charged with a crime in New Jersey, you need a criminal lawyer experienced with New Jersey state and federal  criminal code to aggressively defend your case.  Dedicated New Jersey criminal lawyer Michele Finizio, Esq. works with arrested and criminally charged individuals and their families during this stressful time to navigate the complexities of New Jersey criminal code.  Attorney Finizio has a proven track record in getting criminal cases dropped and resolving matters without the need to serve jail time.

With offices conveniently in Moorestown, New Jersey, Michele Finizio, Esquire represents individuals throughout Southern New Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Camden County, Burlington County, Gloucester County and Salem County.  Call our criminal and traffic court lawyers today at 856-888-9059 today or contact us online to schedule your free confidential consultation.

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