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.
The primary restrictions surrounding record usage in Minnesota concern a statewide ban the box
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.
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.