Minnesota became the first state to pass so-called "ban the box" legislation in 2009, when Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a law prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their criminal histories until the applicant has secured an interview.
Now, supporters of the law, which covers only the public sector, want to expand it to include private employers as well, according to the Associated Press. The Minnesota Senate approved a bill recently that would do just that.
"Ban the box" refers to the effort to remove the standard criminal history inquiry, known as "the box," from job applications, according to the Formerly Convicted Citizens Project, a nonprofit.
If passed this year, activist Mark Haase told MinnPost, Minnesota would be the first state to approve "ban the box" legislation without major concessions to business.