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You don’t have to answer DUI questions on a job application

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2024 | DUI

Every state, including Minnesota, has its own guidelines regarding criminal background checks and the employment hiring process. In this state, a policy known as “Ban the box” is in effect. If you’re one of many people throughout the state who have faced arrest or conviction for DUI, you’ll want to carefully review state laws, as well as “Ban the box” rules before applying for a new job.

Facing a DUI arrest or conviction does not prohibit you from obtaining gainful employment. It is true that a drunk driving arrest may remain on your criminal record for up to seven years. A DUI conviction can stay on your record permanently. However, neither of these issues is a legitimate reason for not hiring you to work. There are exceptions to the rule, such as if you’re applying for a commercial vehicle driving position. Otherwise, you are just as entitled to consideration for employment as any other applicant.

What is “Ban the box” and how does it relate to DUI convictions and employment?

Minnesota’s “Ban the box” policy basically states that an employer may not ask questions about DUI convictions, arrests or other criminal background issues during the application process. Employers cannot list such questions on a job application. If they are on an application, you are under no obligation to answer them. You can also report the issue because the employer may be violating state employment laws.

A prospective employer may only ask questions about a DUI arrest, conviction or other criminal background issues during a post-application interview or during the post-hire process. In other words, an employer cannot reject your application or deny you a position based on your criminal record. The “Ban the box” policy requires employers to consider your job application based on your skills and experience, and not whether a court has charged or convicted you for a crime.

Answering questions about criminal background during a job interview

A prospective Minnesota employer may ask you about a past DUI arrest or conviction during a job interview. You may provide a brief and simple answer. It is also a good idea to follow up with the reasons you believe you would be a good fit for the company. You can also assure the employer that your criminal record will not impede your ability to do the job.

Minnesota employers should consider a job applicant’s answers to questions about DUI during an interview. They should also review how much time has passed since the arrest or conviction, as well as the gravity of the offense (such as whether you were involved in a collision that resulted in a fatality or injury to another person).

In short, employers in this state must wait until you have accepted an interview invitation or job offer before conducting a criminal background check or asking you questions regarding a DUI arrest or conviction. If you believe a violation of state employment laws regarding DUI on a criminal record has occurred, you are entitled to seek legal support to help resolve the issue.


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