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Employers Toolkit for Reviewing Applicant Criminal History

Employers Toolkit for Reviewing Applicant Criminal History

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights released released a toolkit for businesses, organizations, communities, chambers of commerce and local governments interested in starting conversations about workforce inclusion, the impact of collateral consequences, and offering people with a criminal background a second chance at employment.

As the United States faces an unprecedented labor shortage with the percentage of working age adults in society decreasing from 62 to 57 percent in the next 15 years as baby boomers retire, there is a significant opportunity to provide meaningful second chances for employment to millions of Americans with a criminal background. The state of Minnesota currently faces a worker shortage of 100,000 individuals.

Minnesota has been on the forefront of providing second chances and the Department in releasing the Employers Criminal History toolkit seeks to provide a library of information on how criminal convictions impact the lives of people long after their sentence has been served and how employers can comply with the law,” said Kevin Lindsey, Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner.

Signed into law in 2013, Minnesota’s “Ban the Box” law is designed to promote second chance opportunities. The law prohibits employers from asking about an individual’s criminal record until the applicant is interviewed or given a conditional job offer. The law covers all Minnesota employers unless they are exempted by law.

MDHR's Employers Toolkit for Reviewing Applicant Criminal History includes:

  • Videos from an employer’s perspective and an applicant’s perspective designed to foster conversation with organizational leadership and employers.
  • Brochure for employers detailing the importance of “Ban the Box” law and the impact it has on Minnesota’s workforce.
  • Posters for offices, classrooms.
  • Presentations and Speaker Opportunities – MDHR experts can offer tailored discussions and presentations for non-profits, businesses from 10-300 attendees.

Minnesota’s “Ban the Box” law is designed to promote second chance opportunities. The law prohibits employers from asking about an individual’s criminal record until the applicant is interviewed or given a conditional job offer. The law covers all Minnesota employers unless they are exempted by law. MDHR’s “Ban the Box” and Criminal Records toolkit includes videos from an employer’s perspective and an applicant’s perspective, a  "Ban the Box" and Criminal Records in Employmentbrochure for employers, posters, speaker or presentation information and ordering information for materials. 

In the past few years, the Legislature has amended Minnesota law to ban employers from inquiring into the criminal history of individuals when they submits their employment applications. The Department is responsible for enforcing the law known as ban the box. The Department also enforces the Minnesota Human Rights Act which prohibits racial discrimination by employers.

MDHR offers a wide range of speakers to come to your organization or community to discuss the scope of criminal collateral consequences, the impact of criminal collateral consequences in creating racial disparities, and how employers can comply with Minnesota’s ban the box law and the Minnesota Human Rights Act. For more information or to schedule a speaker, contact MDHR Communications Specialist Jonathan Wong at jonathan.wong@state.mn.us or 320-407-8285.  


MDHR Employers Toolkit for Reviewing Criminal History


"Ban the Box and Criminal Records in Employment Resources

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Other resources:

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Multimedia Resources

Ban the Box interview with Richard McLemore II
July 13, 2018 Length: 4:59 Direct Link
Minnesota Department of Human Rights presents: Ban the Box interview with Richard McLemore II, Housing Director at Ujamaa Place. In this interview, Richard shared about his experience with the "Ban the Box" Law from an applicant's perspective.
Ban the Box interview with Otis Zanders
July 30, 2018 Length: 3:50 Direct Link
Minnesota Department of Human Rights presents: Ban the Box interview with Otis Zanders, president and CEO of Ujamaa Place. In this interview, Otis shared about his experience with the "Ban the Box" Law from an employer's perspective.
Our Rights: Raising the Stakes clip
August 30, 2018 Length: 3:29 Direct Link
Clip from Our Rights: Raising the Stakes. Listen to how second chance changed someone's lives and perspectives.
Our Rights - Raising the Stakes
August 3, 2017 Length: 26:41 Direct Link
The second in a series of three programs, produced by TPT and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.
"Beyond" Ban-the-Box: Hiring People with Criminal Records
March 26, 2018 Length: 1:12:05 Direct Link
Webinar attendees will hear about their legal obligations to comply with employment application ban-the-box laws and anti-discrimination statutes throughout the United States.
Understanding Implicit Bias and its Impact
November 1, 2017 Length: 54:14 Direct Link
Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner. In this webinar, employers, business owners, human resource professionals, and state contractors can gain a better understanding of the impact that implicit bias has in employment and how to address the issue through awareness and training. Presented October 25 as part of the MDHR Workforce Series.
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