ASSEMBLY LABOR COMMITTEE
ASSEMBLY, No. 2910
with committee amendments
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
DATED: MAY 15, 2014
The Assembly Labor Committee reports favorably and with committee amendments Assembly Bill No. 2910.
This bill, as amended, prohibits an employer or employer's agent, representative, or designee from discriminating against an applicant for employment in any employment decisions with regard to hiring, compensation or the terms, conditions or privileges of employment because the applicant is currently unemployed.
The bill, however, does not prohibit the employer, agent, representative, or designee, when making employment decisions, from:
1. Inquiring into the applicant’s employment history and the circumstances surrounding an applicant’s separation from prior employment;
2. Considering any substantially job-related qualifications, including: a professional or occupational license, certificate, registration, permit, or other credential; or the level of education or training, or level of professional, occupational, or field experience;
3. Determining that only applicants who are currently employed by the employer will be considered for employment or given priority; or
4. Considering the applicant’s actual amount of experience.
The bill provides that nothing set forth in the bill may be construed as creating or establishing a private cause of action by an aggrieved person against an employer; nor may evidence that an employer who has violated, or is alleged or believed to have violated the provisions of the bill, be admissible in any legal proceeding other than a proceeding to enforce the provisions of this bill.
The current law, which this bill supplements, provides for civil penalties of up to $1,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second violation and $10,000 for each subsequent violation, collectible by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development. Those penalties would therefore apply to violations of the provisions of this bill.
The committee amended the bill to:
1. Clarify that the bill prohibits discrimination against unemployed individuals in employment decisions, rather than entirely prohibits any consideration of whether individuals are unemployed, thus permitting an employer to treat unemployed individuals more favorably;
2. Clarify that the bill is not intended to prevent an employer from making inquiries into a job applicant’s employment history;
3. Clarify that the provisions of the bill apply to individuals that are currently unemployed; and
4. Provide that nothing in the bill creates a cause of action by an aggrieved person against an employer and that no evidence that an employer has violated, or is alleged or believed to have violated the provisions of the bill, is admissible in any legal proceeding with respect to any law or claim other than a proceeding to enforce the provisions of the bill.
These amendments make this bill identical to Senate Bill No. 1440(2R).