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DeAngelo Bill to Ban Discrimination Against Unemployed Job Seekers Approved by Assembly

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Wayne P. DeAngelo to prohibit employers from basing hiring decisions on an applicant’s employment status was approved Thursday by the General Assembly.

The bill (A-3440) would prohibit employment discrimination based on an applicant’s employment status and authorize the commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to collect civil penalties from violators of its provisions.

“Qualified, capable men and women throughout our state want nothing more than an opportunity to put their skills to use so that they can support their families,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “New Jersey’s workforce is its most important resource in moving our state forward, but we must first eliminate barriers that may unfairly keep these workers on the sidelines and out of work for longer periods of time.”

The bill would not prohibit employers from inquiring about the circumstances surrounding an applicant’s unemployment, giving priority to certain applicants based on experience level or the possession of certain credentials or limiting candidacy for a job to those already working for the employer.

Violation of the bill’s provisions would result in civil penalties of up to $1,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second violation and $10,000 for each violation thereafter.

The bill was approved 54-22-0 and now awaits further consideration by the Senate.