• A Quick Reminder ~ Are You Complying With These 3 Employment Laws?
  • May 3, 2017 | Author: Margaret R. (Molly) Ryan
  • Law Firm: Meagher & Geer, P.L.L.P. - Minneapolis Office
  • Minnesota's "ban the box" law restricts the timing of pre-employment inquiries by most private employers into an applicant's criminal history. The law does not impose a requirement that an employer hire ~ or even interview ~ an applicant with a criminal record. It simply requires employers to wait to inquire about the applicant's criminal history until the applicant has been selected for an interview, or, where there is no interview, a conditional offer of employment has been made. Therefore, if your first consideration of an applicant is a completed job application, you need to ensure that the application does not ask whether the applicant has been convicted of a crime. Although this law was effective January 1, 2014, some Minnesota employers have not yet updated their employment applications, particularly multi-state employers that use uniform applications.

    Another law that private employers often overlook is Minnesota's Wage Disclosure Protection law. Under this law, employers cannot prohibit employees from disclosing their own wages, or take any adverse action or retaliate against an employee for disclosing the employee's wages or discussing another employee's wages that have been voluntarily disclosed. If an employer has an employee handbook, the handbook must provide notice of the employee's rights and remedies under this law. Again, this often trips up multi-state employers, as well as employers that use a "form" handbook or a handbook that has not been updated since the law was enacted.

    In addition, under Minnesota law, private employers with 20 or more employees must provide written notice to all job applicants upon hire of the employee's rights relating to the employee's personnel record upon hire. These rights include the employee's right to review his/her personnel record, the right to dispute specific information contained in the personnel record, and the right to be free from retaliation for asserting rights relating to the employee's personnel record. This written notice is required regardless of whether the employer has an employee handbook.