A Primer for Hiring Employees in the Garden State

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In an earlier post I discussed issues an employer should generally consider when hiring an employee.  In addition to the general issues I discussed in that post, New Jersey imposes specific obligations upon employers during both the application stage and after hiring. 

During the application stage of the hiring process, New Jersey prohibits employers from making certain pre-employment inquiries of an applicant. For example, in an advertisement for a job opening or during an interview, employers cannot express any limitation, specification, or inquire about, an applicant's:

  • race;

  • creed;

  • religion;

  • national origin;

  • marital status; 

  • age; 

  • disability; 

  • health condition; 

  • nationality; 

  • affectional or sexual orientation; 

  • gender identity or expression; 

  • or any other category protected by law from discrimination.

Nor can New Jersey employers publish a job advertisement indicating that current employment is a requirement for the job opening.  New Jersey employers are also generally limited in their ability to make inquiries into an applicant's criminal or arrest history. 

Finally, New Jersey employers are prohibited from requesting or requiring that prospective (or existing employees) provide the employer with access to the applicant's social media accounts.

 Upon hiring, New Jersey requires that employers provide specific notices to an employee.  For example, an employer must provide employees with written notice of the following:

  1. the employee's pay rate and regular payday; 

  2. the employer's obligation to maintain records concerning wages, benefits, taxes, and other contributions and assessments, along with information about how the employee can file a complaint about possible employer record keeping violations and as to how the employee can request information from the State about actual violations;

  3. the employee's right to paid benefits for family temporary disability leave; and 

  4. the employee's right to be free of gender inequity or bias in pay, benefits, or other terms or conditions of employment.

Failure to comply with these requirements may expose an employer to liability to the employee and/or fines from the State, so it is important that employers understand and comply with their hiring obligations throughout the hiring process.  Please contact me if you have any concerns or questions about the hiring practices of your business.