Employment Law


Prepared by:
Jessica L. Webster, Staff Attorney
Legal Services Advocacy Project
Ron Elwood, Supervising Attorney
Legal Services Advocacy Project

Chapter 61 (SF 523)
Amends Minn. Stat. §§ 181.53; 181.981, subd. 1; 364.021; 364.06; 364.09; and 364.10
Effective January 1, 2014

A. Conditions Precedent to Employment
Prohibits any employer (whether public or private) from requiring as a condition precedent to employment any written statement regarding a criminal conviction.
Amends Minn. Stat. § 181.53

B. Disclosure of Criminal Records in Applications for Private Employment
Prohibits private employers from requiring an applicant to disclose or to check a box on an application indicating criminal record or history. Allows a private employer to inquire about and consider an applicant's criminal record or history: (1) once the applicant has been selected for an interview; or (2) if there is not an interview, before a conditional offer of employment is made.
Note: Public employers are already prohibited from inquiring about criminal history prior to an interview or offer of employment.
Amends Minn. Stat. § 364.021

C. Exceptions
Provides that the new provisions banning inquiries on applications do not supersede any legal requirement to conduct a criminal history background investigation or consider criminal history records in hiring for particular types of employment. Note: Nothing in the new law limits the exemptions currently found in statute for various types of employment (e.g., law enforcement).
Amends Minn. Stat. § 364.09

D. Remedies for Violation
Authorizes the Department of Human Rights to investigate violations and impose penalties, the magnitude of which range from warnings to up to $2,000 per month in fines, depending on: (1) when the violation occurred; (2) the number of employees; and (3) the number of violations.
Amends Minn. Stat. § 364.06

E. Limitation on Civil Rights Actions
Provides that only public employers are subject to civil rights actions for violations.
Amends Minn. Stat. § 364.10

Chapter 87, Section 1 (SF 840)
Amends Minn. Stat. § 181.9413
Effective August 1, 2013

Expands sick leave benefits to include caring for: (1) an adult child; (2) a spouse; (3) a sibling; (4) a parent; (5) a grandparent; or (6) a stepparent. Clarifies that a "child" includes: (1) biological children; (2) stepchildren; (3) adopted children; and (4) foster children. Prohibits an employer from limiting the use of personal sick leave benefits to less than 160 hours in any 12 month period. Requires a report to Legislature by August 1, 2014 on the impact of this change on sick leave usage by state employees.