Criminal Records – CORI Reform in Massachusetts

Masschusetts recently enacted a signficant revision affecting the access, use, and inquiry into an applicant’s criminal history.  A good summary of the act by the law firm Ropes & Gray can be found here and on the official Commonwealth of Massachusetts site which can be found here

Some of the changes include making it unlawful for an employer to ask an applicant about recent felony and misdemeanor convictions as part of the initial written application form.  Additionally, for most felony convictions information will be provided only for the past 10 years and misdemeanor convictions will be reported for five years after final disposition.

There are also new requirements for providing an applicant with a copy of an criminal records information that might be used in an adverse employment decision prior to questioning the applicant concerning it or making an adverse decision on the basis of it.  There are also new requirements to maintain a written CORI policy and to provide applicants with a copy of the policy.

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