Minnesota's Ban the Box Law

How Does it Affect Employers with Out-of-State Locations?

Whether Minnesota’s new “Ban-the-Bow” law (codified as Minn. Stat. § 364.021) applies to an employer is going to depend on a few factors. In what state would the applicant be employed? Does the employer have locations in multiple states? How is the employer’s application process structured? All will play a role in deciding whether compliance is required.

If the employer has locations in multiple states, and their application process is structured so that all applicants fill out the same application (regardless of what location they are applying to), clear and unambiguous writing must be included that informs the applicant that Minnesota law protects them from having to answer questions about their criminal history. If the employer is located in multiple states, and their applications are tailored for applicants in each state, then applications for those locations in Minnesota must comply with the Ban-the-Box law, while applications for those locations not in Minnesota need to not comply.

Another topic to keep in mind is the resulting penalties for noncompliance. The commissioner of human rights will investigate alleged violations, and may impose penalties as follows. See Minn. Stat. § 364.06(a). For those employers employing ten or fewer persons per location, the commissioner may impose a penalty of up to $100 per violation, not to exceed $100 in a calendar month. See Minn. Stat. §364.06(c)(1). For those employing eleven to twenty persons, the penalty could be up to $500 per violation, not to exceed $500 in a calendar month. See Minn. Stat. § 364.06(c)(2). For those employing more than twenty persons per location, the penalty could be as high as $500 per violation, not to exceed $2,000 in a calendar month. See Minn. Stat. § 364.06(c)(3).