Massachusetts Employment Screening

Massachusetts Employment Background Checks.

All employment background check services including pre-employment drug screening and pre-employment criminal record background checks are available in Massachusetts.

August 2017

Pay Equity Law Effective August 2018

Just like “Ban the Box” employers must wait until a formal job offer has been given (which will include compensation) before inquiring about a potential employee's salary history.  Additionally, the law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who openly discuss their salaries. In Massachusetts it’s estimated that women earn 82 cents for every dollar a male earned in 2014 (American Association of University Women), the national level is 79 cents to every dollar.

Fast Turn Around Times:

Most employers demand fast turn around times not normally available from the counties in Massachusetts.

Therefore, we recommend using the state criminal record database. (CORI).

The state (or commonwealth) criminal record database (CORI) criminal offender record information is the most comprehensive way to search the state of Massachusetts when conducting a pre employment criminal records background check.

A state specific release is required by Massachusetts and may be obtained by:
Clicking Here

The commonwealth of Massachusetts charges a fee of $25.00 to access the  CORI criminal records database system. This fee is added to the regular cost of your search and is paid to the commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Turn around times are typically same day to next day.

Our criminal records Smart Search Plus®  has become the industry standard for a quality FCRA Compliant criminal records background check in Massachusetts.

It includes an unlimited check of the Federal criminal records repositories in the states where the applicant has lived for the past 7 years.

It also includes a check of any needed state and county criminal records checks as well as a social security number address history trace, a multi-state criminal records database search and a check of of the sex offender registry in all 50 states.

It is the criminal records background check now chosen by most of our clients. For a brief overview of all of our employment screening services, please Click Here

Arrest:Employers are prohibited from requesting, making record or using an application to obtain information about an arrest, detention, or disposition for any violation of the law that did not result in a conviction. Mass. Ann. Laws. ch.21- 151B, §4(9). The Massachusetts Guidelines also prohibit questions about arrests that did not result in a conviction. Mass.

Regs. Code tit.

804 § 3.02.

Conviction:Employers may ask individuals if they were  convicted of a misdemeanor with some limitations. Employers cannot inquire about a first conviction for the following misdemeanors: drunkenness, simple assault, speeding, minor traffic violations, affray or disturbance of the peace. Employers also are prohibited from asking about any misdemeanor convictions occurring five or more years before the date of the application or interview, or the last day of incarceration (whichever date is later). If the individual was convicted of any offense within five years preceding the inquiry, then employers may also inquire about misdemeanor convictions more than five years old. Mass. Ann. Laws ch.21- 151B, § 4(9). The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination Guidelines provide that an employer can ask prospective employees if they have been convicted of a felony.Individuals who answer in the negative to any of the prohibited inquiries are immune from liability for perjury and giving false statements. Mass. Ann. Laws ch.21-151B, § 4(9); Mass. Regs.

 Written Policy: Employers who conduct five or more criminal background checks per year (either using iCORI or a consumer reporting agency) must maintain a written CORI policy. A model policy provided by DCJIS can be found at here.

Notice/Authorization: Prior to requesting a CORI report through iCORI, an employer must obtain signed authorization from the employee or applicant whose criminal record will be checked. A sample CORI acknowledgement form can be found here. Employers who use a consumer reporting agency to request CORI must notify the applicant in writing that a consumer report may be used in the employment decision making process and separately obtain the applicant's written authorization to conduct the background check.

Verification: Prior to submitting a CORI request, the employer must verify the individual's identity by examining a government-issued identification.

Using CORI or Other Criminal Information: If an employer seeks to question an individual about his/her criminal history or seeks to make an adverse employment decision based on the individual's criminal history (regardless of whether it uses iCORI or a consumer reporting agency), the employer must:

  1. notify the individual in person, by telephone, fax, or electronic or hard copy correspondence of the potential adverse employment action;

  2. provide a copy of the individual's CORI or other criminal history information to the individual;

  3. provide a copy of "A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act" published by the Federal Trade Commission (if using a consumer reporting agency) to the individual;

  4. provide a copy of the employer's CORI Policy, if applicable, to the individual;

  5. identify the information in the individual's CORI that is the basis for the potential adverse action;

  6. provide the individual with the opportunity to dispute the accuracy of the information contained in the CORI or other criminal history information;

  7. provide the individual with a copy of DCJIS information regarding the process for correcting CORI or criminal records; and

  8. document all steps taken to comply with these requirements.

Record Retention: Employers must retain acknowledgement forms for a minimum of one year from the time it is signed. However, employers must not retain CORI for longer than seven years from the date of employment or volunteer service or from the date of its final decision regarding the individual.

Storage: Hard copies of CORI must be stored in a separate locked and secure location (e.g., a file cabinet) and electronically-stored CORI must be password protected and encrypted. Employers cannot store CORI using public cloud storage methods.

Access: Employers must limit access to only those employees who have been approved to access CORI.

Destruction: Employers must destroy hard copies of CORI by shredding or otherwise before disposing of CORI and must destroy electronic copies by deleting them from the hard drive and from the system used to back up the information.

Penalties: Employers who knowingly violate the CORI laws may be subject to civil fines of up to $5,000 and could face criminal prosecution.

Why use CORI?

The new law provides a safe harbor for employers who rely solely on official CORI reports and otherwise comply with the requirements of this law. Employers who make hiring decisions within 90 days of receiving a CORI report will not be held liable for negligent hiring or failure to hire claims.

However, as we explained in our recent Alert, an employer's reliance on an individual's criminal record history in making employment decisions may, in some instances, give rise to an employment discrimination claim under Title VII based on race and/or national origin. Accordingly, it is important that employers comply with state and federal law and consistently follow their own policies.

Employment screening and employment background checks provided in all Massachusetts cities including:

Boston Ma, Walpole Ma, Bedford Ma , Adams, Brewster, Brockton, Chelsea, Edgartown, Essex, Gloucester, Haverhill, Ipswich, Kingston, Lawrence, Lynn, Manchester, Nantucket, Needham, New Bedford, New Salem, Newton, Oxford, Peabody, Plainfield, Plymouth, Provincetown, Quincy, Revere, Scituate, Shrewsury, Swansea, Tewksbury, Wakefield, Watertown,Worcester.

Click on any of the links below for a more detailed explanation of each employment background check service.

Criminal Record Smart Search Plus®
Other Criminal Records Checks
Instant Driving Records

Pre-Employment Credit Reports
Pre-Employment Credentialing
Pre-Employment Drug Screening
Volunteer Employment Screening
Church Worker Employment Screening
Autism Care Employment Screening
Health Care Provider Employment Screening
Consent Based SSN Verification
Credential Verifiication Services
I-9 Verification Compliance
E-Verify Program
FACIS.


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Disclaimer
None of the information contained in this web site should be construed as legal advice.
All forms, policies, information and procedures should be reviewed by your legal counsel before being used in any way.

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