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.