Press Release

For Immediate Release: december 27, 2013

Minnesota Departments of Human Rights, Human Services to offer “Ban the Box” webinar January 23

A webinar on Minnesota’s new Ban the Box law will be offered for health and human services professionals on January 23, the first in a series of seminars and webinars providing information and technical assistance. The new law takes effect January 1, 2014.

The webinar will be offered jointly by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and the Department of Human Services. Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey will provide an overview of the new law and Human Services Inspector General Jerry Kerber will address the unique concerns of health and human services professionals in understanding its requirements. The webinar will be offered live at 10 AM on January 23, and a webinar video will be available on the web following the live event.

“We know that many employers have questions about Ban the Box, while others many not be aware that it’s taking effect on January 1,” said Commissioner Lindsey. “We will be partnering with other agencies throughout the year to reach out to employers and businesses in every corner of our state.”

The Ban the Box law does not prevent an employer from considering an applicant’s criminal history. But it does require employers to wait until a job applicant has been selected for an interview, or a conditional offer of employment has been made, before asking the applicant about their criminal record or conducting a criminal background record check.

“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,” Commissioner Lindsey said. The requirement had been in place for public employers since 2009; the new law extends it to private employers.

Employers in the health and human services may have questions specific to their areas, since by law those who have been convicted of certain crimes are excluded from some occupations. The Ban the Box law does not remove these legal requirements; thus, existing laws will continue to protect vulnerable adults and children from people with violent or sexual criminal histories. The new law does change the timing with respect to when questions related to criminal history may be asked in the hiring process.

Watch the Department of Human Rights’ website for further information on the January 23 webinar and future Ban the Box seminars and webinars.

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Contact: Jeff Holman at 651.539.1090 or Jeff.holman@state.mn.us

Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Communications Department Freeman Building, 625 Robert Street North, Saint Paul, MN 55155

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