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FAQs About the New Jersey Opportunity to Compete Act (aka New Jersey’s “Ban the Box” Law)

New Jersey’s Opportunity to Compete Act (also known informally as the New Jersey “ban the box” law), N.J.S.A. 34:6B-11 et seq., goes into effect on March 1, 2015. The new law restricts most employers’ ability to request criminal history information from job applicants. Employers covered by the new law will need to adjust their hiring practices accordingly. Below are some frequently asked questions about the new law. These FAQs are not legal advice. Be sure to consult with legal counsel if you have any questions about the new law.

New Jersey Workplace Poster Requirements Continue to Grow

New Jersey employers may need to put “bigger bulletin board” on their holiday list this year as the number of required workplace posters continues to grow, especially with the proliferation of municipal paid sick leave laws. Several laws also have time-of-hire and annual distribution (not just posting) requirements, so employers are wise to confirm that they are up to date on all the latest requirements.

More Headaches for NJ Employers as Six More Towns Pass Sick Leave Ordinances

The proliferation of municipality sick leave laws in New Jersey continues with no sign of letting up. Passaic, East Orange, Paterson, and Irvington recently passed their own paid sick leave ordinances, and voters in Trenton and Montclair approved similar laws in the recent election. It is imperative for employers in these cities to take proper precautions and look closely at current sick leave policies.

Several More New Jersey Cities Pass Paid Sick Leave Legislation

Following Newark and Jersey City’s lead, the cities of Passaic, East Orange, Paterson, and Irvington recently passed their own paid sick leave ordinances that will provide the majority of private employees working in those cities with paid sick leave. Additionally, on Election Day voters in Montclair and Trenton approved similar measures to bring paid sick leave to their cities. The Passaic ordinance becomes effective December 31, 2014; the East Orange ordinance on January 6, 2015; the Paterson and Irvington ordinances on January 7, 2015; and the Montclair and Trenton ordinances on March 4, 2015. When these laws take effect, it will bring the total number of New Jersey cities with paid sick leave ordinances to eight.

Delay Leads to Denial of Request for Injunctive Relief in New Jersey Lawsuit

A recent decision from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey highlights the perils of delay before applying for injunctive relief. In PTT, LLC v. Gimme Games, et al. No. 13-7161 (JLL/JAD), PPT, a slot machine developer, sued competitor Gimme Games and former PPT executives who started Gimme Games, for misappropriation, unfair competition, and patent infringement. More particularly, PPT alleges in the pending lawsuit that Gimme Games creates slot machine games with the same look and feel as PPT’s games, especially with respect to "oversize symbols."

New Jersey Bans The Box

New Jersey is the newest state to join the “Ban the Box” movement, an effort promoting legislation that limits inquiries about criminal history during the employment process. As we recently reported, some states are requiring certain private employers to remove questions regarding criminal history from their employment applications or initial hiring processes.

New Jersey Governor Christie Signs ‘Ban the Box’ Legislation

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed into law The Opportunity to Compete Act, otherwise known as the “Ban the Box” bill. This legislation will restrict employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal background during the initial stages of the application process. The law will take effect on March 1, 2015, the first day of the seventh month following the signing date.

New Jersey Bans the Box: Rules About Learning the Criminal Histories of Jobs Applicants Are Changing

New Jersey employers with 15 or more employees will be prohibited from inquiring into a job applicant’s criminal history in the initial employment application beginning on March 1, 2015. New Jersey is the latest state to join a growing number of states that have enacted what is commonly referred to as “Ban the Box” bills.

New Jersey Governor Christie Signs Ban the Box Law

On August 11, 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law the “The Opportunity to Compete Act”—also referred to as the “ban the box” law—adding New Jersey to the growing list of states where employers are prohibited from asking criminal conviction questions on initial employment applications.

New Jersey's "Opportunity to Compete Act" Continues the Nationwide "Ban-the-Box" Trend

On August 11, 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed “The Opportunity to Compete Act,” which restricts the ability of covered employers to inquire into, and use, criminal records. New Jersey’s so-called “ban-the-box” law, which will be effective March 1, 2015, follows closely on the heels of similar legislation enacted in the past two years.