Massachusetts Employers Face New Obligations When Conducting Background Checks Involving Criminal History Records

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Effective May 4, 2012, the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Reform Act (the Act), which was enacted in August 2010 with the controversial “ban the box” legislation, will significantly change the way employers access, use, and maintain information obtained through the Commonwealth’s CORI system. The Act will allow all employers access to a new online records system, but also imposes obligations on employers that acquire criminal history information from private sources, such as consumer reporting agencies (background report vendors). Employers should review their hiring and background check policies now to determine whether any updates are necessary.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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