September 2, 2016
NEWARK, NJ- February 7, 2013. The state of New Jersey will soon be considering The New Jersey Opportunity to Compete Act, commonly referred to as Ban the Box, which takes a major step toward leveling the playing field for all job applicants by eliminating “the box” on an application that asks job candidates to disclose their criminal history. Criminal history inquiries would, however, merely be delayed until later in the hiring process to encourage employers to focus on the candidate’s qualifications, rather than solely on past mistakes. While this bill limits inquiries about criminal history on the initial job application, it does not prevent employers from conducting background checks or using criminal history information when appropriate or when mandated by law. Over the past fifteen years, 49 jurisdictions have enacted Ban the Box policies, including the states of Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Mexico.