But New York's measure would go further than the others by letting rejected applicants sue employers for damages.

Companies see it as government meddling and "creating another basis for unmerited lawsuits against employers," said Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, an influential business group.

President Barack Obama proposed in 2011 to make it illegal to refuse to consider unemployed applicants.

New Jersey in 2011 became the first state to outlaw the practice. The state Labor Department has gotten one complaint so far and cited a company for an ad that excluded jobless applicants; the case is not yet resolved, the agency said this week.

Oregon and the District of Columbia followed suit last year, while 15 other states considered similar proposals, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed such a measure in California last fall, indicating he wasn't happy with changes made to it.

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Associated Press writer Rema Rahman contributed to this report from Trenton, N.J.

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Follow Jennifer Peltz at http://twitter.com/jennpeltz

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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