Recent MA legislation made changes to the way employers find out about and use criminal information, or Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI). Among some of those changes is the “Ban the Box” provision which has now made it illegal to ask on an employment application if an applicant has a record of certain criminal offenses. Employers are being advised to remove all inquiries concerning criminal history from their employment applications. The new law does not prohibit inquiries about criminal history later on in the recruiting process, such as during an interview. Another change that is effective May 2012, requires that an employer that is in possession of a job applicant’s criminal offender record must provide that individual with a copy of the record prior to questioning them about it or making any adverse decisions based on this information.
These specific provisions make it more difficult for the employer to find out about prior criminal convictions, however the information can still be uncovered legally. In positions where this information is pertinent, employers will have to be proactive and consistent in their interview process to make sure they gain the necessary information to make a qualified judgment while complying with the law. Additionally employers will have to ensure that once information is uncovered that information is dealt with appropriately. What changes do you see in your recruiting process with respect to these changes?