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How much do you know about prohibited hiring practices in MN? – III

For the last few months, our blog has been examining how the Minnesota Human Rights Act outlines a series of provisions expressly prohibiting employers from engaging in certain pre-employment practices.

Specifically, we’ve been discussing how this law bans employers from making certain inquiries during the hiring and interviewing process that could otherwise be used in a discriminatory manner.

In today’s post, we’ll continue examining these proscribed pre-employment practices.

Can a prospective employer require me to pass a non-medical test?

Yes, employers are allowed to require prospective employees to take non-medical exams prior to making a conditional offer of employment. However, three conditions must be satisfied:

  • All applicants for the same position must take the test;
  • Only essential abilities related to the position must be tested;
  • The test must be designed to measure achievement/aptitude accurately and not unduly reflect the impaired abilities/skills of applicants (unless the test is expressly designed to measure these exact skills).

What does state law say about employers checking my credit history?

While the law is largely silent about this issue, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights indicates that this may prove to be a legally treacherous ground for employers given that credit checks for prospective employees may reveal information on otherwise protected categories such as age, public assistance status and marital status.

Similarly, it indicates that rejecting prospective employees on the basis of their credit history could disproportionately affect those who have received public assistance, or who are of a particular marital status or race.

Given these risks, the agency argues that it’s imperative for employers to provide justification for the credit checks (i.e., the job requires money-handling), and for employees to be mindful of their rights under state law as they relate to discriminatory practices in the hiring and interviewing process.

Source: Minnesota Department of Human Rights, “Prohibited pre-employment practices,” Accessed Oct. 2, 2014

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