DFL bill removes barriers for reformed offenders seeking employment

This week the Health and Human Services Committee heard a bill that prohibits the Department of Human Services (DHS) from disqualifying an individual from a background study if they have an expunged criminal record.

In 2015, the Senate DFL spearheaded sweeping changes to our state’s expungement laws that allow judges to permanently seal the criminal records of reformed offenders, making it easier for these Minnesotans to secure good jobs, access quality housing, and provide for their families. An expunged record can still be viewed under certain circumstances, and someone cannot request an expungement for certain violent or egregious crimes.

Right now, people can be denied jobs they may have spent years studying or training for, even after they’ve gone through the complicated process to get their record sealed. Positions in the human services industry often face severe workforce shortages, this bill is a way to support individuals who have demonstrated changed behavior to become integrated and productive members of our community.