A recent frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights provides useful guidance for multi-state employers concerning Minnesota’s Ban the Box law.
The Ban the Box law provides that most public and private employers “may not inquire into or consider or require disclosure of the criminal record or criminal history of an applicant for employment until the applicant has been selected for an interview by the employer or, if there is not an interview, before a conditional offer of employment is made to the applicant.”  Minn. Stat. § 364.021.  The new FAQ answers two important questions about how this requirement applies to employers with multi-state operations.
Does Ban the Box Apply to Out-of-State Employers With Operations in Minnesota?  Yes.  The FAQ clarifies that the law “applies to the Minnesota operations of companies that operate in multiple states.”
How Can Minnesota Employers With Multi-State Operations Comply With the Law?  The FAQ explains that a multi-state employer can continue to use a single employment application for all potential employees, even if the application asks about an applicant’s criminal history.  However, in order to comply with the law for applicants in Minnesota, the application form must include “language on the application that is clear and unambiguous that Minnesota law provides that applicants don’t have to answer criminal background history questions.”