Governor Mark Dayton signed a bill expanding the “Ban the Box” law to private employers that will go into effect beginning Jan. 1, 2014. “Ban the Box” has applied to public employers in Minnesota since 2009. The law requires public, and now 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 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.

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.

The new law outlines potential penalties for employers found in violation of the law. If the Human Rights commissioner finds that a violation has occurred, the commissioner may impose penalties.