Minnesota Pre-Employment Inquiries (Interviewing) laws & HR compliance analysis

Minnesota Pre-Employment Inquiries (Interviewing): What you need to know

The Minnesota Human Rights Act prohibits employers from asking about a job applicant's race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, receipt of public assistance, familial status, membership or activity in a local commission, disability, age, or sexual orientation (including gender identity) unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) (MN Stat. Sec. 363A.08). The Act covers all employers, regardless of size. Employers are prohibited from using application forms, interview questions, medical histories, or background checks to obtain such information before an applicant is hired.
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Genetic information. Employers are prohibited from administering, requesting, or requiring a prospective employee or an employee to take a genetic test as a condition of employment (MN Stat. Sec. 181.974).
Smokers' rights law. A separate law also prohibits bias due to an individual's lawful use of consumable products, including tobacco, during nonworking hours while away from the employer's premises. Questions about an applicant's tobacco use should likewise be avoided (MN Stat. Sec. 181.938).
Strikes and arrest records. Minnesota law also prohibits an employer from requiring an applicant sign a statement about his or her (MN Stat. Sec. 181.53):
• Participation in a strike
• Arrest records that did not result in a conviction
"Ban the box" provision.State law prohibits all employers from inquiring about, considering, or requiring disclosure of an applicant's criminal record or criminal history until the applicant has been selected for an interview or, if there is not an interview, before a conditional offer of employment is made (MN Stat. Sec. 34.021). Employers may not use a job application ...

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