Press Release

For Immediate Release: June 5, 2013

MDHR Offers Employers a Toolkit on Minnesota's New 'Ban the Box' Law signed by Governor Mark Dayton

New law expands job opportunities for Minnesotans with criminal backgrounds who need a "second chance"

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is providing a toolkit on the requirements of the new the "Ban the Box" law, which was signed by Gov. Mark Dayton yesterday. The law goes into effect beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

"This is a significant piece of legislation," said Commissioner of Human Rights Kevin Lindsey. "Ninety-two million Americans currently have either an arrest or a criminal conviction in their past. This law offers the vast majority of individuals with a non-violent criminal record a second chance at an opportunity for employment to better their lives."

The new law requires private employers to wait until a job applicant has been selected for an interview, or a conditional offer of employment has been extended, before asking a job applicant about criminal records or conducting a criminal background check. This requirement has applied to public employers since 2009.

Existing laws will continue to protect vulnerable adults and children from people with violent or sexual criminal histories. Additionally, employers may exclude applicants if a crime is relevant to the position's job duties.

While the law includes potential penalties for employers found to be in violation, the department is hoping to educate employers about the laws' requirements to make invoking penalties unnecessary.

You can find detailed information on criminal background checks in employment on the MDHR's website including:

The Department encourages employers to call MDHR at 651.539.1100 or 1.800.657.3704 if they have questions regarding the new law, or if they wish to have a representative from MDHR provide a presentation to an employer or a trade association group.

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For more information contact: Jeff Holman at 651.539.1090 or Jeff.holman@state.mn.us

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