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Massachusetts Amended CORI Regulations

May 12, 2017

The Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) recently amended the Massachusetts CORI regulations which govern how employers conduct criminal history checks in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Although First Advantage does not obtain criminal history information from the DCJIS, there are sections of the amended regulations that will impact employers who obtain criminal history information from sources other than the DCJIS.

Under the amended regulations, employers who are considering taking adverse action against an applicant based on information found in the criminal history record obtained from a source other than the DCJIS must now identify to the applicant, the information in the criminal history record that is the basis for the potential adverse action.

The amended regulations also require employers who perform five or more criminal background checks per year to maintain a written CORI policy, which must be provided to the applicant during the pre-adverse process, even when the criminal history information is obtained from a source other than the DCJIS. This policy must meet the minimum requirements of the MA DCJIS Model CORI Policy.

Specifically the amended regulations state:

2.18: Adverse Employment Decision Based on Cori or Other Types of Criminal History Information Received from a Source Other than the DCJIS 
Before taking adverse action against an employment applicant or employee based on the 
subject's CORI or criminal history information that was received from a source other than the DCJIS, an employer or volunteer organization shall: 
(a) comply with applicable federal and state laws and regulations; 
(b) notify the subject in person, by telephone, fax, or electronic or hard copy correspondence of the potential adverse employment action; 
(c) provide a copy of the subject's CORI or criminal history information to the subject; 
(d) identify the source of the criminal history information; 
(e) provide a copy of the requestors CORI Policy, if applicable; 
(f) identify the information in the subject's CORI or criminal history information that is the basis for the potential adverse action; 
(g) provide the subject with the opportunity to dispute the accuracy of the information contained in the CORI or criminal history information; 
(h) when CORI is considered as a part of a potential adverse action, provide the subject with a copy of DCJIS information regarding the process for correcting CORI; and 
 document all steps taken to comply with 803 CMR 2.18.

2.16: CORI Policy Requirement for Certain Requestors and the Need to Know Requirements 
(1) A person acting as a decision maker on an application or interacting directly with a subject that annually conducts five or more criminal background investigations, whether CORI is obtained from the DCJIS or from another source, shall maintain a written CORI policy which must meet the minimum standards of the DCJIS Model CORI Policy.

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