Employers Beware: “Ban the Box” Law To Take Effect January 14th

1 Aug

Do you do criminal background checks before hiring someone?  Does your job application form ask if the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime?

The law is changing on this topic and such conduct may soon be prohibited. The US EEOC takes the position it is illegal race discrimination to refuse to hire anyone who has a criminal conviction because the EEOC says this disproportionately screens out black applicants. The EEOC says the employer has to look at the individual circumstances of each applicant, including when the conviction occurred, what the crime was, whether it would affect job performance, etc.

The Minnesota Legislature has recently passed a law popularly known as “Ban the Box” which says an employer may not ask on a job application form whether the applicant has a criminal record. It takes effect 1/1/14. The employer may ask about criminal convictions after the applicant has been selected for an interview or before a conditional offer of employment is made.

This article is written by Mark Ohnstad.  Mark practices law in the area of litigation at Thomsen & Nybeck, P.A.  Mark concentrates his practice in the areas of General Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Insurance Litigation, Employment Law, Personal Injury and Family Law.  Mark has over 30 years experience at the state and federal levels in representing businesses and individuals in a range of subject areas.  Mark’s experience includes numerous trials, arbitrations, and mediations.  Mark distinguishes himself with the careful analysis and knowledge he brings to each case.


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