Change to Criminal Background Check Law in Massachusetts

Effective May 4, 2012, Massachusetts law places new obligations on employers’ access to and use of criminal offender record information (“CORI”)¬†of applicants and current employees. The changes include:

-employers must have a written CORI policy

-employers must comply with new rules for obtaining CORI information, including a requirement that they provide applicants/employees with copies of their CORI information, and comply with record keeping and destruction requirements

-employers must track any CORI information they disseminate

A previous change in the law, effective November 4, 2010, prohibits employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal record on the initial written employment application.