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Beach, Madden: Action Against Company For Excluding Jobless From Employment Shows New Law Working

TRENTON – Senators Jim Beach and Fred Madden, Senate sponsors of the first-in-the-nation law that made it illegal for companies to specifically say unemployed candidates should not apply for a job, said the news that the state had levied a fine against the first company to run afoul of the new rules sends a strong message that such discriminatory hiring practices will not be tolerated.

According to a report in yesterday’s Star-Ledger, a Ewing company was fined $1,000 for publishing an advertisement for an open position that specifically stated only currently employed candidates would be considered for the mid-level post. It was the first such fine levied since the law took effect.

“The point of the law is simple: Every qualified candidate deserves equal consideration,” said Beach (D-Camden). “There are countless good potential employees who want to work, but who don’t have a job because they got laid off due to the economy, or because their prior employer went under during the recession. It is unconscionable that someone who lost their job through no fault of their own would have that held against them.”

Under the new law, companies that openly discriminate against the unemployed in job postings are subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 for an initial violation, $5,000 for a second violation, and $10,000 for each subsequent violation.

“Employers need to recognize that just because someone currently has a job, they may not necessarily be the best candidate,” said Madden (D-Gloucester/Camden). “There are potentially thousands of excellent candidates who, before this law was enacted, may never have had the chance to put their credentials up against those who happen to have the ‘benefit’ of being employed. The unemployed need a level playing field, and this law provides it.”