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NJ rallies to advocate for 'Ban the box'

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Proponents of a bill that would limit New Jersey employers from asking job applicants about their criminal past are calling on legislators to pass the measure.

About 100 people gathered Wednesday at the Statehouse in Trenton to advocate for the "Opportunity to Compete Act." It would effectively "ban the box" on job applications that asks job seekers if they have a criminal history.

Advocates say studies show evidence that many businesses immediately toss out applications when they see someone marked "yes." The measure would still allow employers to ask about a person's criminal history, but only once a conditional offer is made.

Individuals with criminal histories who can't land jobs say the bill would at least give them an opportunity to explain themselves before an application is immediately tossed.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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