Massachusetts Background Checks

There are a variety of Massachusetts background check laws that employers and HR professionals must be aware of when conducting background checks to avoid any compliance or legal concerns. These laws include but are not limited to ban-the-box laws, CORI laws, and fair credit report laws.

Health Street’s line of background checks in Massachusetts delivers fast, meticulously researched data on an applicant’s criminal history, references, education and employment. We pride ourselves on providing what employers need to inform their decisions about the people they hire. Massachusetts employment background checks give companies the assurance that their new hires have been fully vetted and won’t pose a risk. Verify if someone is being honest with you before you hire them – with Massachusetts background checks from Health Street.

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Massachusetts Background Check Laws

CORI Laws

According to the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) policy requirement, any employer who wishes to perform five or more Massachusetts background checks will be required by law to develop a criminal record information policy. This policy must outline the various employer background screening compliance requirements established under CORI, including:

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The need to notify applicants of a potential adverse job decision made on the basis of criminal background check information.
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The need to provide a copy of the criminal background check to an applicant.
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The need to provide details on how to correct a criminal record.

A copy of this CORI policy must be shared with all job applicants who request it.

Ban-the-Box Laws

Under Massachusetts background check law, both private and public employers are required to follow the state’s ban-the-box policy. Ban-the-box legislation was first established in Massachusetts back in 2010 but was later amended in 2018 to include new updates that create heavier restrictions for employers who request criminal record details during the employment screening phase.

Under the latest ban-the-box legislation, employers looking to conduct background checks in Massachusetts are:

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Restricted from asking about any details related to an applicant’s criminal history in the initial interviewing and application phase.
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Restricted from asking applicants verbally or on an application about a criminal record that has been sealed or expunged.
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Restricted from inquiring about misdemeanors in which the conviction or jail time was completed more than three years prior to the employment application date.

Employers who fail to comply with ban-the-box laws can face hefty state penalties and fines alongside possible legal repercussions from the applicant.

Credit Reporting Laws

Employers conducting employment background checks in Massachusetts are required to follow Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) legislation when using credit reports during the hiring process. The FRCA legislation requires employers to:

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Restricted from asking about any details related to an applicant’s criminal history in the initial interviewing and application phase.
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Restricted from asking applicants verbally or on an application about a criminal record that has been sealed or expunged.
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Restricted from inquiring about misdemeanors in which the conviction or jail time was completed more than three years prior to the employment application date.

Failure to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act may put an employer at risk of facing legal consequences as well as state penalties and fines.

Salary Reporting Laws

Under the Massachusetts Pay Equity Act, an employer is restricted from screening job applicants on the basis of their salary history. This means that during the pre-employment application process, Massachusetts employers are prohibited from requesting or demanding any sort of information relating to salary history and prior hourly wages for hiring decision purposes.

Statistics on Crime in the State of Massachusetts

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From 2020 to 2021, the total amount of crimes reported in the state of Massachusetts declined by 11.3%.
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In 2021 alone, the state of Massachusetts reported a crime total of 223,260 recorded offenses.
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Of the various crimes against person offenses recorded in Massachusetts in 2021, assault crimes held the highest total amount with 67,748 total recorded incidents.
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Larceny was the highest recorded type of property crime in Massachusetts in 2021 with 55,720 reported incidents.
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Compared to 2020, the number of arrests recorded in the state of Massachusetts in 2021 increased by 4.74% to a total of 81,859 arrests.

What Background Checks in Massachusetts Does Health Street offer?

Criminal Background Check Packages

Health Street’s criminal background check packages always start with a Social Security Number Trace. From there, you can add specific background checks, choose from one of our most popular packages, or build your own.

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Includes:
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Everything in Triple Database Package (above) plus Courthouse Repository (State and/or County level)
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Includes:
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Everything in Platinum Package (above) plus a 10 panel drug test.
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Mix and match a variety of our background screening services to create your perfect package. This can include criminal database checks, sanctions, resume verifications, and drug testing.
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Resume Verification services to check a person’s job history, degrees, and references starting at $39
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DOT Background Check and driver screening services to ensure DOT compliance starting at $39

City Background Checks

For information regarding background checks in a specific city, click the relevant link below:

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Why Health Street For Massachusetts Background Checks?

Health Street combines industry knowledge, a commitment to accuracy, and a spirit of fairness when performing background checks in the Bay State. Comprehensive employment screenings keep you and your business from stumbling into legal problems. A thorough background screening is essential to confirming that your new hires in are qualified and honest.

Health Street’s combination of high tech and high touch make background checks in fast and reliable. We offer simple, secure web technology matched with local court runners to protect your company.

Due diligence is critical. Poorly performed background checks can expose you in the following ways:

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Not uncovering a past criminal record.
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Revealing personal or excess information that cannot, by employment law, be taken into account.

In either case, you could be held legally liable. It is critical that you stay in compliance with local labor laws. Let Health Street’s experts conduct your background checks in New Mexico so you’ll know that your candidates have been fully and properly vetted before hire.

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DOT Background Screening Services

If you hire truck drivers or other vehicle operators covered by DOT, then you know you have to comply with the Department of Transportation’s FMCSA modality regulations. To comply with DOT regs, you must:

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Contact previous employers (from before January 2020)
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Review the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse for January 2020 and later.
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Run the Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Report (MVR).

These measures ensure that your new hire has a safe Massachusetts driving record and no drug or alcohol violations in the past three years.

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Resume Review and Verification Checks

When evaluating a job applicant, the first thing a hiring manager tends to look at is their resume. But what if the schools attended, degrees earned, job titles held, and other credentials were embellished, exaggerated, or outright fabricated? Before making that hire, you can rest easy knowing that Health Street can add resume verification to our Massachusetts background checks.

Resume fraud is unfortunately all too common in Massachusetts. Our resume verification services provide a definitive check on everything listed on your applicant’s resume. This includes:

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education verification to confirm the degrees and certifications stated.
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employment history to check that they have held the jobs claimed
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professional license verification to confirm they have the certifications required.

Be sure that the person you want to hire is really who they say they are by ordering resume verification services from Health Street.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a CORI Check in Massachusetts?

A Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check is a background assessment to monitor for criminal behavior through demographic data, including name and last known address, as well as any accompanying Massachusetts court arraignment and disposition data.

Court arraignment and disposition data found in a CORI report include:

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Adult criminal court appearances beginning at the age of 18 for offenses after September 18, 2013, and age 17 for offenses before September 18, 2013.
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Juvenile delinquency appearances in court from the age of 18 and under for offenses after September 18, 2013, and age 17 and under for offenses before September 18, 2013.

Under Massachusetts background check law, any organization or individual can request a CORI report. Bear in mind that the amount of data and information provided depends on the level of access the requestor is entitled to.

What Shows Up on a Background Check in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts employers who request applicant background check reports can view criminal history details such as arrest dates, criminal charges, and sentencing details, as well as employment history and education credentials.

Keep in mind that under Massachusetts consumer reporting law, a background check company may not report criminal records of arrest, indictment, or conviction of a crime that exceeds more than seven years from the date of disposition, release, or parole.

Citations

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“Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI)” Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, https://www.mass.gov/massachusetts-criminal-offender-record-information-cori
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“Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI)” Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, https://www.mass.gov/doc/803-cmr-2-criminal-offender-record-information-cori/download
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“Section 1: What is included in a Massachusetts criminal record?” Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, https://www.mass.gov/doc/cori-booklet/download
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“Bill S.2371 An Act Relative to Criminal Justice Reform” Massachusetts Legislature, https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/S2371
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“Fair Credit Reporting Act” Federal Trade Commission, https://www.ftc.gov/legal-library/browse/statutes/fair-credit-reporting-act
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“An Act to Establish Pay Equity” Massachusetts Legislature, https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2016/Chapter177
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“Section 52” Massachusetts Legislature, https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXV/Chapter93/Section52
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“Crime Overview 2021 Massachusetts” Massachusetts Department of Public Safety and Security, https://masscrime.chs.state.ma.us/tops/report/crime-overview/massachusetts/2021