What may be reported on a Minnesota criminal history search?
Jurisdiction where record
of offense, e.g. misdemeanor
Within the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension acts as the state’s central criminal history repository. The BCA processes all applications for a Minnesota state background check. Such reports will contain statewide information, including data from Ramsey, Hennepin, Anoka, and Dakota counties.
Criminal Record Restrictions:
The primary restrictions surrounding record usage in Minnesota concern a statewide ban the box law, described below, which pre-empted some similar local regulations and established a broad framework for the state. Several restrictions apply to certain classes of sealed records and certain criminal circumstances. Employers requesting a background check for the purposes of determining eligibility should be aware they must clearly alert the applicant of their intent to conduct such a check. Please consult the following guide for applicable restrictions.
Certain criminal records, including all classes of misdemeanors and a small subset of felonies, may qualify for sealing under Minnesota state law. These expunged records become unavailable for employers and will generally not appear on background checks. Information contained in these records is considered inadmissible for employment decisions. In addition, other actions may be expunged as well. Arrests or convictions in which the applicant chose to participate in a pre-trial diversion program may be expunged, as can juvenile convictions and “not guilty” adjudications.
Arrest & Conviction Records:
Employers may consider arrests and convictions but only in accordance with the state’s law banning the box. Employers may not request any information on these types of records on an application except for positions for which the law mandates a criminal background check, such as for a property manager’s maintenance team or police work.
Ban the Box Legislation:
Initially, restrictions on criminal background checks for employers were limited to the public sector by a law passed in 2009. In May 2013, the governor of Minnesota signed into law a sweeping expansion that brought private employers into the fold, unified the law regarding background checks across the state, and established stiff penalties for violators. Checks may only be made after an initial interview or after an employment offer if you choose not to undertake an interview process. Other requirements still on the books include considering the relevance of a conviction to the position at hand. As with the other regulations in the state, these limitations are overruled in cases where the law mandates a background check.