While most Minnesota employers can no longer ask about an applicant’s criminal record until after the grant of a job interview offer (or, if there is no interview, a conditional employment offer), that doesn’t mean the applicant or new employee can lie about his criminal record later.
Not accurately disclosing the criminal record after being asked is misconduct that disqualifies the individual from receiving unemployment compensation.
Recent case: Kristopher has a criminal record involving “possession of pictorial representations of minors and two counts of possession of pornographic work on a computer.” Those convictions were felonies.
Over a decade later, Nexlink hired him to work as a warehouse supervisor.
On his first day of work, he was asked to complete and sign an employment application and an acknowledgment of the terms in the employee handbook. When asked on the form if he had ever been convicted of a felony, he checked the “no” box.
The company ran aand found the convictions. It then terminated Kristopher for dishonesty.
When his bid for unemployment benefits was turned down, he appealed, arguing that he should not have been asked about his criminal record.
The court rejected his argument, reasoning that, because he had already been hired, the question was lawful. Lying barred him from receiving benefits. (Fingal v. Nexlink Communications, No. A13-1760, Court of Appeals of Minnesota, 2014)
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