NAACP Celebrates Passage of “Ban the Box” in Minnesota

(ST. PAUL, Minn.) — The NAACP applauds the Minnesota House of Representatives for passing a bill to prohibit employers from asking about criminal history on initial employment applications. Once signed into law, the bill will make Minnesota the third state in the nation to “ban the box” for both public and private employers.

“As Americans we believe in second chances and we believe that work is redemptive,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “This is a victory for Minnesota. This bill makes it possible for thousands of parents who have made a mistake and paid their price to one day get a job, get their children out of foster care, and pull their lives and their families back together.”

“This is not only a victory for prospective job applicants; it is also a victory for employers,” Jeff Martin, President of the St. Paul NAACP and Political Action Chair for the Minnesota-Dakota NAACP State Conference. “Once this bill is put into law, employers will have access to a labor pool that fully represents what is available in Minnesota, rather than a filtered down version. This is just one step toward eliminating employment discrimination in a state that still has a long way to go. But now people with records will be able to sit across the table from a hiring employer and make their case.”

The NAACP was part of a coalition that included Take Action Minnesota’s “Justice 4 All Campaign”, The Counsel on Crime and Justice and other groups.

The bill passed the Minnesota House of Representatives by a margin of 107 to 26. It now heads to Governor Mark Dayton for his signature. Last week, Maryland’s governor signed a bill to “ban the box” for state employers.

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Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.  You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.

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