Minnesota Background Checks laws & HR compliance analysis

Minnesota Background Checks: What you need to know

There are a number of ways for employers to gather information on the background of an applicant for employment. Employers may simply call an applicant's former employer to confirm the applicant's dates of employment and title and to try to obtain a more detailed reference from a supervisor. However, more and more frequently, employers are hiring third parties to conduct background checks on applicants who have been offered employment. In addition, depending on the nature of the position, employers are requesting reports about an applicant's driving record, criminal record, and/or credit history. There are often legal limits on employers obtaining and using this type of information. When employers hire a third party to conduct a background check or to obtain reports from outside agencies, such reports are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state laws. In Minnesota, employers must comply with laws concerning consumer reports, criminal background checks, and driver's record information.
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Except as otherwise provided by law, employers may not require an employee or prospective employee to pay for expenses incurred in conducting criminal or background checks, including those related to obtaining credit or consumer reports (MN Stat. Sec. 181.645).
State law prohibits employers from obtaining “consumer reports” and “investigative consumer reports” for employment purposes unless it is clearly and accurately disclosed that a consumer report may be obtained or caused to be prepared (MN Stat. Sec. 13C.001et seq.). In general, the law is very similar to FCRA, and with the exceptions of the requirements discussed below, ...

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