Minnesota Background Check Laws for Employers

In 2013, Minnesota law was amended to bar employers from making early inquiries into a job applicant’s criminal history.

Limitations to Criminal Background Inquiries

Starting in 2014, employers were only allowed to look into a an applicant’s criminal background:

  1. After the applicant has been selected for an interview; or
  2. If there is no interview, after a conditional offer of employment is made to the applicant.

Employers must also remove all “check the box” questions concerning an applicant’s criminal history on job applications.

Notably, this law does not apply to employers with a statutory duty to conduct criminal background checks, like childcare facilities.

Potential Fines

Employers violating this law may face fines from the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The fine will vary based on the size of the employer.

  • Employers with 10 or less employees could be fined up to $100 per violation, not to exceed $100 in a calendar month
  • Employers with 11-20 employees could be fined up to $500 per violation, not to exceed $500 in a calendar month
  • Employers with more than 20 employees could be fined up to $500 per violation, not to exceed $2,000 in a calendar month