Carl Nimis, a recent winner of the Goodwill/Easter Seals’ Participant of the Year Award, spoke during at a rally recent in support of “ban the box” legislation. The legislation was signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton. The new law will stop employers from asking about a job applicant’s criminal record before reaching the interview phase of the hiring process. Nimis, who is visually impaired, also has a criminal record. He needed Goodwill/Easter Seals’ help in finding a job and getting a second chance at life.
Minnesota, which already applies a narrower version of the law to public employers, is the third state to extend it to the private sector and the ninth overall to “ban the box,” as the measure is known.
The measure does allow businesses to ask about an applicant’s criminal background at some point in the hiring process. It also ensures that the government alone would retain the right to penalize violators.