John A. Klassen, PA Minnesota Employment Law Attorney
612-217-4988 877-390-4527

Ban the box law and hiring discrimination in Minnesota

Applying for jobs is a nerve wrecking task. When Minnesotans get an interview, much preparation is conducted. Often times they prepare their resume, documents and supplemental information in order to achieve a proper assessment and a successful outcome. In a perfect scenario, only qualifying information will be used to establish whether the applicant is right for a position, but this is not always the case. Hiring discrimination is when a person is denied a job he or she is qualified to have because of a protected identifying characteristic.

Workplace discrimination is a serious issue in places of employment across the nation. Recently, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights offered the first in their series of webinars that address Ban the Box law. This law refers to the box that job seekers check on their application if they have a criminal record. The webinar helps private employers navigate this new law that went into effect January 1st of this year.

Although this law bans checking a box indicating a criminal past, this does not prevent employers asking about a criminal record in an interview or during a meeting that extends a conditional job offer. The main purpose for this law is to prevent hiring discrimination. This also allows for a personal skills and personality to be evaluated before the applicant's past jades the view of the employer.

Employment discrimination is a serious issue that could also lead to other unfortunate outcomes. An employee that suffers discrimination due to a personal characteristic or trait might endure a hostile work environment. Furthermore, unfair treatment could lead to an employee speaking out. This in turn could cause a wrongful discharge.

Whether it is in the hiring process or during the course of their employment, if an individual believes he or she is a victim of discrimination, it is important to seek guidance about the situation. This could lead to a cause of action, which could lead to compensation to cover any damages experienced.

Source: Twin Cities Daily Planet, "Stopgap measures won't end Minnesota's racial disparities," Nicole Simms, Jan. 27, 2014

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John A. Klassen, PA
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