New Jersey's Fair Chance Law
Source: National Employment Law Project
Initial versions were introduced in 2013, but were reintroduced in 2014 as A1999 and S1484, known as “The Opportunity to Compete Act.” A heavily amended A1999 was passed and signed by Governor Chris Christie on August 11, 2014. The bill mandates that public and private employers cannot inquire into a candidate’s criminal history until the employer has conducted the first interview with the candidate. Employers may not consider expunged or pardoned convictions when making an employment decision. Introduced to Senate by Sens. Sandra B. Cunningham (D), M Teresa Ruiz (D), and Raymond J. Lesniak (D) and L. Grace Spencer (D)
Commentary: Leading up to the introduction of the legislation, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice engaged the private employer community through business roundtables as discussed in NELP’s webinar. The original version of the bill, available here, included numerous strong provisions, such as delaying inquiry until a conditional offer.