Effective November 18, 2012, most employers that operate in Newark, New Jersey must comply with a new ordinance broadly restricting their discretion to rely on criminal background records for employment purposes. The ordinance prohibits a covered employer from, among other things, conducting a criminal history inquiry unless and until the employer has determined in good faith that such an inquiry is warranted based on the "sensitivity" of the position, has provided the requisite notices to the candidate, and has extended to the candidate a conditional offer of employment. The ordinance does not include a private right of action, but instead provides for the enforcement of fines of up to $1,000 for each violation by an office or agency of the City that will be designated by the Mayor of Newark. It remains to be seen whether the plaintiffs' employment bar will attempt to bring Pierce-type public policy actions, claiming that individuals whose rights have been violated under the ordinance necessarily have a right to vindication by suing directly in court.
To learn more about the ordinance, please continue reading Littler’s ASAP, Employers in Newark, New Jersey Must Comply with a New Ordinance Broadly Restricting Their Discretion to Rely on Criminal Records for Employment Purposes, by Rod Fliegel, Jedd Mendelson, and Jennifer Mora.