Anyone who has applied for a job has probably seen the section asking for criminal history disclosure, but the Minnesota Senate has passed a bill that would strip such questions from job applications.
Lawmakers passed S.F. 523 on April 20, and the move would amend Minnesota Statute § 364.021 to ban employers from asking about or considering criminal records until an applicant has been selected for an interview. Employers with a statutory duty to conduct background investigations would be exempt.
A similar "ban the box" bill is currently working its way through the Minnesota House of Representatives. If H.F. 690 is passed and signed by Gov. Mark Dayton, the rule would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
This is the first time in state history that lawmakers have considered imposing limitations on private businesses that use criminal history information during the hiring process.
Under both plans, employers who violate the ban could face penalties, including a $500 fine per violation with a monthly penalty cap ranging from $500-$2,000 depending upon an employer's number of in-state employees.
At 9 p.m., FOX 9 News will speak with Joe Schmitt, an employment attorney at Nilan Johnson Lewis, about what these bills could mean for job hunters and what the reasoning behind them may be.