Unemployed need not apply – now illegal in New Jersey

We all know that it is illegal to not hire someone based on gender, race or disabilities.  Now we can add “being unemployed” to the list, at least in New Jersey.

Yesterday, the NJ legislature passed a bill that prohibits companies from publishing a job post that states that the unemployed need not apply.


As an employment professional I have a lot of opinions on this topic and wanted to share them publicly on my blog in the hopes of sparking a discussion on this topic.

  • First off, how stupid are these companies?  To actually write that on a job post is pure stupidity and the recruiters or managers that approved it should be fired for poor judgement.
  • This law is laughable and in my opinion just a public relations stunt.  It is much easier to pass this law then it is to actually do something to fix the systemic problems of unemployment.  Now the companies in New Jersey will be mindful of this and refrain from mentioning this in their postings.  This does not mean that they will stop the practice of discriminating just because they are not publishing it.  The law says nothing about the actual practice of not hiring someone because they are unemployed.
  • As a recruiter who has worked on the ageny and corporate side for over 12 years I can tell you that I have hired more unemployed people over the last 2 years then the first 10 years of my career.  The reason is simple, the stimgma of being unemployed has actually decreased not increased as the media would lead you to believe.
  • I wonder how much money was spent to pass this law.  Surely the money could have been used for a variety of programs to better help those who are unemployed find jobs through training, interview coaching or resume writing services.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think this will spread to other states or perhaps become federal law?