- Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has expanded on the “ban the box” laws already enacted in his state. Three new bipartisan laws are aimed to help those “overcoming incarceration or the disease of addiction, young offenders, and all who have earned and deserve it.”
- Senate Bill 3306 expands on the prohibition for employers to seek criminal history by banning such questions in any oral, written or online inquiries, and prohibits the use of applications that require disclosure of a criminal record. The law is aimed at giving ex-offenders an opportunity to present their history personally during an interview, rather than being disqualified outright before being seen.
- Senate Bill 3307 shortens the length of time an ex-offender must wait to have their record expunged and increases the number of convictions eligible for removal. Senate Bill 3308 shortens the length of time a juvenile ex-offender must wait to expunge their records in order to reduce the barriers they will need to overcome as they re-enter society as adults.
Many states have enacted “ban the box” laws, with California’s newest law taking effect Jan. 1 of this year. Many states and cities have enacted the laws in the past year, with more planned for the future. Glassdoor announced in October of 2017 it will no longer allow job postings that aren’t aligned with EEOC’s Guidance on Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment.
Although the EEO guidance is not law, proponents of the laws believe that questions on criminal history can result in disparate impact on protected classes. Many employers have removed the question from applications even where there is no legal requirement, as the trend to give workers a second chance at a productive life continues across the country.