A person may experience a gap in employment for various reasons. Unfortunately, according to research, the probability of finding a job declines the longer a person is unemployed. Many employers refuse to interview job applicants with a huge gap in employment. Some employers discriminate against job applicants due to their unemployed status. Fortunately, New Jersey law provides some sort of protection against this form of discrimination. However, this protection does not go as far as other discrimination laws, such as those that prohibit employers from discriminating against job applicants based on race, age, religion, sexual orientation, and other factors. If you believe an employer discriminated against you because you are currently employed, consult a skilled employment lawyer. An experienced attorney can help you determine if you can pursue a legal claim against the employer.
The State’s Prohibition on Advertisements
The longer you have been without a job, the harder it can be to get a job. While many hiring managers might be more understanding, some might assume that an employment gap means a job applicant is not a good candidate. Some look at a gap in employment and assume that if an applicant was good at their job, they would not have been unemployed for that long. Despite a person’s skills and qualifications, an employment gap can be difficult to overcome when looking for a job.
Some states have taken big steps to protect unemployed job applicants from experiencing discrimination due to their unemployed status. However, unemployment discrimination is yet to receive enough attention in New Jersey. But even though NJ law does not offer enough protection to unemployed job applicants, the law does offer a bit of protection. Some years ago, a law (N.J.S.A. 34:8B-1) was signed that bars employers from purposefully publishing an advertisement that states that;
- The qualifications for a job include current employment;
- Applications for employment submitted by people currently unemployed will not be considered or reviewed;
- Only applications for employment submitted by currently employed people will be considered or reviewed.
However, the law does not bar employers from making adverse hiring decisions on the basis of a job applicant’s employment status. Additionally, citizens have no right to take legal action should an employer break the above mentioned rules. In other words, you cannot sue an employer who publishes an advertisement containing an illegal provision. Only the state of New Jersey can seek money from an employer in the form of fines.
I Was Discriminated Against Because I am Currently Unemployed: What Do I Do?
You should speak to an employment lawyer if you believe you have been discriminated against because of your unemployment. While no law in NJ explicitly protects unemployed job applicants from discrimination, other anti-discrimination laws could come into play in your case. For example, if an employer’s policy of not hiring unemployed job seekers disproportionately impacts older applicants, this may be seen as a violation of the NJLAD.
Contact Trabosh Employment Law
If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your employment status, contact our experienced New Jersey employment lawyer at Trabosh Law Firm for a free case evaluation.