TRENTON – The Senate Labor Committee today released legislation Senator Jim Beach sponsored to counter the disturbing trend of employers declaring in job opening announcements, “unemployed workers need not apply.”
Beach said the bill would ensure that a person’s qualifications – and not whether they had been a victim of the economic recession that doubled unemployment rates – would remain the most important criteria for job seekers.
“For the countless residents who lost their job through no fault of their own, these ads just add insult to injury, especially when they see an opening for which they would be a perfect fit,” said Beach (D-Camden). “Businesses that make it a point to exclude the unemployed from consideration are not only passing up on the chance to attract qualified candidates, but are only making the employment picture worse for the entire state. These ads need to be cut out and left on the editor’s floor where they belong.”
Under the legislation (S-2388) any prospective employer whose job advertisement says – whether explicitly or implied – that out-of-work individuals need not apply would be fined $5,000 for a first violation and $10,000 for subsequent violations.
“People who want to work are frustrated enough by the limited job opportunities out there now,” said Beach. “Employers shouldn’t be allowed to kick the unemployed while they’re already down.”
The bill now is poised for a vote in the full Senate.