Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) (M.G.L.c. 6, s. 167) (803 CMR 2.00) (803 CMR 7.00)

  • An employer may obtain criminal offender record information in order to evaluate current and prospective employees, including full-time, part-time, contract, internship employees or volunteers. Such criminal offender record information is limited to the following:
  • Notwithstanding the above, convictions for murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and sex offenses that are punishable by incarceration in state prison are records available at any time to employers unless the records are sealed.(M.G.L.c. 6, s. 172(b))

  • In order to request CORI records regarding current or prospective employees, an employer must complete a certain CORI Form and submit it to the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services. (CORI Request Form)

  • In connection with any decision regarding employment or other matters, an employer in possession of an applicant's criminal offender record information must provide the applicant with the information in its possession prior to questioning the applicant about his criminal history. If an employer makes a decision that is advserse to the applicant based on his criminal history, that employer must also provide the applicant with that history record if not previously provided. Failure to provide the subject with the information may subject the employer to investigation, hearing and sanctions by the Criminal Record Review Board, which may impose fines not to exceed $5,000 for each knowing violation. (M.G.L.c. 6, s. 171A; M.G.L.c. 6, s. 172(c))
  • An employer that annually conducts 5 or more criminal background investigations must maintain a written criminal offender record information policy providing that, in addition to any obligations required by the Commissioner of Criminal Justice Information Services, it will:
  • The Commissioner of Criminal Justice Information Services must publish and furnish upon request guidelines for individuals on how to correct inaccurate or incomplete information. (M.G.L.c. 6, s. 175)

  • The Criminal Record Review Board may hear complaints and investigate any incidents alleging that an employer who has requested or received criminal offender record information has failed to provide the subject with the information in its possession prior to questioning the subject about his criminal history in connection with a decision regarding employment or other matters. The Board may impose fines not to exceed $5,000 for each knowing violation. (M.G.L.c. 6, s. 168(b))
  • An emmployer is not liable for negligent hiring due to relying solely on criminal offender record information received from the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, provided that the employer made its employment decision within 90 days of obtaining the criminal offender record information. An employer is not liable for discriminatory employment practices for the failure to hire a person on the basis of criminal offender record information that contains erroneous information received from the Department if the employer would not have been liable if the information had been accurate, provided that the employer made its employment decision within 90 days of obtaining the information. (M.G.L.c. 6, s. 172(e))

  • An employer cannot maintain a copy, electronic or otherwise, of criminal offender record information obtained from the Department for more than 7 years from the last date of employment or from the date of the final decision of the employer regarding the person. (M.G.L.c. 6, s. 172(f))

  • An person aggrieved under this statute may file a civil action in Superior Court for damages or for a restraining order. If the violation is found to be willful, the violator will be liable for, in addition to actual damages, exemplary damages of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 for each violation, together with costs and reasonable attorney's fees. (M.G.L.c. 6, s. 177)

  • Anyone who knowingly requests, obtains or attempts to obtain criminal offender record information under false pretenses, knowingly communicates or attempts to communicate criminal offender record information to anyone not authorzed to receive such, or knowingly falsifies criminal offender record information will be punished for each offense by imprisonment of not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $5,000, or both. In the case of an entity that is not a natural person, the fine may not be more than $50,000 for each violation. (M.G.L.c. 6, s. 178)

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