New Bill Would Prohibit Employers From Discriminating Against Job Applicants With Criminal Records

Assembly members Charles Mainor and Vincent Prieto are sponsoring a bill to prevent employers from discriminating against job applicants with criminal records, which make reintegration into society difficult, and disproportionately impact racial minorities. “According to the National Employment Law Project, over one in four U.S. adults has a criminal record. African Americans and Latinos are at an even greater disadvantage when applying for employment because they are overrepresented in the criminal justice system,” said Mainor (D-Hudson). “A criminal record is an obvious red flag, but it should not be an end-all for residents who have amended for their mistakes, have turned their lives around and want to provide for themselves and their families. How do we expect people to better themselves, when they can’t get a job? Some of these criminal records are due to minor offenses committed years ago. To extend these records to a lifetime of economic disadvantage is incredibly unfair.”

“A criminal record is an understandable concern for employers, but it seems unfair to base a hiring decision solely on a person’s criminal record, without taking into consideration the circumstances behind it. Should we really condemn a person who committed a minor infraction or had a youthful indiscretion years ago, but have since changed, for the rest of their lives?” said Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson). “With an estimated 65 million Americans with criminal records, it is a problem that affects many communities, particularly communities of color which are impacted at a disproportionate rate. Not all mistakes are reversible and not all people can change, but those who want to be positive, contributing members of society should not be denied the opportunity.”

The bill (A-4298) would prohibit all public and private employers from discriminating against ex-convicts. Public and private employers would be prohibited from denying a person a license or employment because of the person has previously been convicted of a criminal offense or because the person has been determined to lack “good moral character” based on a previous conviction. The bill applies to current, as well as prospective employees.

Employers would be exempt from this prohibition if:

· there is a direct relationship between a previous criminal offense and the specific license or employment sought;

· or issuing the license or hiring the person would involve an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific persons or the general public.

Employers must consider the following factors when determining if either of these exceptions apply:

· it is New Jersey’s policy to encourage licensing and employing persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses;

· the specific duties and responsibilities related to the license or employment sought;

· the bearing, if any, the criminal offense will have on the person’s fitness or ability to perform the required duties and responsibilities;

· how much time has elapsed since the offense was committed;

· the seriousness of the offense;

· information provided by the person showing rehabilitation and good conduct

· the legitimate interest of the public or private employer in protecting the property, safety and welfare of specific individuals or general public.

Under the bill, the issuance of a certificate of rehabilitation to a person creates a presumption of rehabilitation in regard to the offenses to which the certificate applies. An employer must consider the certificate in determining whether either of the exceptions apply. TLS.

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  1. so they are sying that it “disproportionally affects racial minorities” hmmmm…..thats basically telling us that racial minorities have the highest criminal records.

  2. with society going down hill its no wonder politicions come up with these weird bills
    i suggest one of these esteemed gentelman from the assembly should put their money where their mouth is and higher a former convict to their staff (mutza min es minoy)(moderated) let Assembly members Charles Mainor and Vincent Prieto be the first to higher a criminal
    that would really prove they stand up for what they preach!
    until then let socity continue w/o your foolish ideas

  3. Let us remember, that these lawmakers are DEMOCRATS.


    Say it again: DEMOCRATS are the ones that are destroying our country.

    To all the left wingers who hate the so-called “rightwingers”: THIS is what we are fighting against. These DEMOCRATS who are destroying this great country.

    Wake up and realize that the DEMOCRATS are destroying this great country.

    We need to stop them before its too late.

  4. “African Americans and Latinos are at an even greater disadvantage when applying for employment because they are overrepresented in the criminal justice system,” said Mainor (D-Hudson).”

    is that the new politically correct way of saying that blacks & Hispanics are committing more crimes than white people are? FINALLY, at least they admit it in some form or another- even if it is sugar coated.

  5. This is the reason that we need term limits for how long these Politicians can stay in office. And on a second thought, maybe we should make these elected positions a PART TIME JOB, seeing as all they seem to do is make up problems and issues, that they then make laws to solve.

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