Last week Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law a bill that prohibits private employers from asking whether a job applicant has a criminal history until applicants have been selected for interviews. The legislation is aimed at preventing employment discrimination and opening op opportunities for applicants who may have previously been disqualified from the outset.
This legislation has frequently been referred to as the “ban the box” bill, referencing the employer practice of placing a question on employment applications about criminal history, often including a check box. Minnesota passed similar legislation for all public employees back in 2009 and this new law makes it one of the first states to expand the idea to private employers.