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New Jersey State Background Check Laws

 New Jersey Assembly House Bill A1999 was signed by New Jersey’s governor in August 2014, mandating that public and private employers are prohibited from requesting a criminal background check until the candidate has completed their first interview. Expunged and pardoned convictions cannot be considered in evaluating criminal history.

Atlantic City, NJ

In December 2011, Atlantic City passed an ordinance that banned-the-box on applications for City jobs. City vendors are highly encouraged to mimic City policies, and their hiring policies will be taken into consideration in awarding City contracts.

Criminal background checks will only be conducted after there is a conditional job offer. Criminal histories will be evaluated via individualized assessments using the EEOC criteria. If the review results in the denial of employment, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision.

When New Jersey adopted its Opportunity to Compete Act in March 2015, which applies to any public or private employer with at least 15 employees, this local ordinance was superseded.

Newark, NJ

In September 2012, the Newark Municipal Council passed an ordinance that applied to both City and private employers, local licensure, and housing. No criminal background checks will be conducted until there is a conditional offer of employment, and then there is a restricted “look back” period for various types of criminal offenses, ranging from five to eight years.

Not all positions will require criminal background checks. In evaluating the criminal record, an individualized assessment following the EEOC criteria will be conducted. If an applicant is denied employment based on their criminal record, they will be provided with a copy of their background report and will have the right to appeal the decision.

In March 2015, New Jersey adopted the Opportunity to Compete Act, which supersedes this ordinance.

Cities Include: Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Edison, Lakewood, Woodbridge and more.