Conducting Criminal Record Checks in Minnesota

In Minnesota, state employers are restricted from asking applicants about any arrest not followed by a valid conviction, convictions that have been annulled or expunged and misdemeanor convictions for which no jail sentence can be imposed. State employers may inquire about arrest and conviction records when applicants are applying for law enforcement positions, family day care and foster care licenses. If a public employer denies an applicant a position or license solely or partially because of the person's prior conviction, the person must be notified in writing of the grounds for denial and the earliest date for reapplication.

School hiring authorities must require criminal background checks on all persons who are offered employment in their schools. If a background check was performed by another school within the past 12 months, the results are on file with the other school or otherwise easily accessible, the applicant gives written permission to use the earlier background check results and there is no reason to believe the applicant has committed a disqualifying act since the background check was made, a school may use the earlier record check.

Criminal background checks are not required for persons who are hold initial entrance licenses issued within the previous 12 months by the state board of teaching or education.

Schools are permitted to run checks on volunteers, independent contractors and student employees. If a school district elects to require background checks, an individual may not be on school grounds without providing a signed consent form and the fee for the check.

When employment is offered to out-of-state residents, school districts must request background checks from both the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the parallel agency in the other state, or the FBI if the other state does not have an instate agency. The individual must provide a consent form and pay the background check fee.