Due to recent amendments, Minnesota will restrict the timing during which private employers may inquire into an applicant’s criminal history prior to employment as of January 1, 2014.
The new law does not prohibit inquiring into or considering a candidate’s criminal past, but limits when an employer can do so. Rep. Tim Mahoney stated that the law:
“does not prohibit private employers from eventually conducting background checks and fully investigating the criminal past of potential employees,” but, “is designed to get applicants past the initial application stage, so that if they qualify for the job, they get a chance to explain themselves.”
Non-exempt employers will not be allowed to conduct in the following activities:
- Request criminal record information before an applicant is chosen to interview, or if there is no interview, is presented with a conditional job offer
- Use an employment application that requests criminal record information
To learn more about the law, please see Littler’s ASAP, Minnesota Enacts “Ban the Box Law” Prohibiting Employment Application Criminal History Checkmark Boxes and Restricting Criminal Record Inquiries Until After Interviews or Conditional Job Offers, by Dale Deitchler, Rod Fliegel, Susan Fitzke and Jennifer Mora.