Published on June 13th, 2021 | by Bibhuranjan


What laws apply to background checks?

As with all states in the USA Minnesota has certain laws regarding background checks for potential employees. These cover a variety of regulations that are imposed both locally by the Minnesota authorities and under federal law across the USA.

Minnesota also adheres to the ‘Ban-the-Box’ background check law, along with other laws and regulations you will need to adhere to which can matter when seeking employment and apply to prospective employees in the state of Minnesota.

What Are the Background Check Laws in Minnesota?

Many of the Background Check Laws in Minnesota also apply across various other states, but if you are seeking employment elsewhere we strongly recommend you search for specific information applicable to the state you are looking to work within. There are three areas of background checks we are most interested in here, so let’s with each one individually:

  • Local laws in Minnesota regarding background checks may differ to other states so we advise you ask an expert to explain what is involved. For example, Minnesota has a procedure n place for notifying unsuccessful applicants and allowing them to raise grievances or rea-apply. These will be explained when talking to an expert on Minnesota employment law.
  • Ban-the-Box laws in Minnesota are similar to the same law used elsewhere. This is a very important section of employment law in the USA that relates to discrimination. The Ban-the-Box law, first introduced in 2014, prevents employers from running a criminal record check on applicants at the interview.

Only once the employee has been interviewed and deemed an eligible applicant on the basis of qualifications and experience can the employer run a background check for criminal records. There are exceptions: applicants for school bus drivers, teachers and apartment manager jobs are legally required to undergo a criminal records check.

  • FCRA checks in Minnesota refers to the Fair Credit Reporting Act which restricts the use of poor credit and negative reports against a candidate except in certain circumstances. This is one of many laws that come under the federal jurisdiction across the USA. Negative information can include bankruptcy, civil suits and similar, as well as criminal arrest records.

Note that the employer cannot ask questions regards criminal offences early in the application thanks to the above ban-the-box laws. An employer must inform the candidate should they wish to run such background checks, and the candidate must consent.

Now we know what the laws are – and note this is not a comprehensive list but merely a guide to those that are important in the context – let’s talk about what may appear on an applicants record after the background checks are made.

What Shows up on a Minnesota Background Check?

Employees run background checks for different reasons so what can you expect to show up on your Minnesota background check for employment? As we already stated a criminal record check cannot be initiated until you have passed the requirements for eligibility. However, a background check can bring up any of the following:

  • Past Employment – Your full past employment including dates and roles performed will be part of the background checks in Minnesota.
  • Education Verification – All qualifications that you have achieved may be accessed by a Minnesota background check from basic education up to degree level.
  • Credit Check – Under strict compliance with the FCRA, employers may – with consent – check an applicant’s credit file for negative reports.

Only when the candidate has met the requirements at interview and has presented acceptable qualifications can a criminal records check be carried out. This, like all checks, is at the discretion of the employer. If there is a criminal history, a background check will reveal the offenses, details, and dates. However, Minnesota law prohibits juvenile records from being accessed, along with sealed or expunged records. In some cases, there might be exceptions, but these are the general rules.

The employer will be required at all times to let the candidate know what checks have been carried out, and the results therein.


A with immigration into the USA where many checks need to be undertaken, so employers in Minnesota have a right to run certain checks on potential employees as outlined above. This is by no means a comprehensive article but only gives the basic information.

We recommend you talk to an expert in Minnesota employment law who will be able to give you detailed information about the procedure, what to expect and how best to ensure our private information is only used where necessary. Get in touch now and you can begin applying for jobs in the state of Minnesota.

Cover Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

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Editorial Officer, I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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