Criminal History and Job Advertising

The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development investigated practices of employers and found fifteen companies were including language about the criminal history of applicants in their job advertisements. The employers were required to make changes to their hiring practices. The New Jersey “Ban the Box” bars an employer posting advertising that the employer will not consider anyone who has a criminal record. The law also prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from requiring that a job applicant complete any form during the “initial application process” divulges their criminal history, which ends when the employer has conducted a first interview.

In reality, the Box is not actually banned; it is moved to another stage in the employment process. NJ employers should consider banning the box altogether at any stage and offer equal opportunities to individuals. If you are conducting thorough criminal record research through the New Jersey State Police, do you really need the Box?