New Changes to Massachusetts Regulations on Criminal History Checks

Employers operating in Massachusetts are already aware of the Commonwealth’s Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) law.1 CORI refers to the database of criminal information maintained by the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS). CORI records are limited to crimes investigated and prosecuted by the Commonwealth and do not include information related to federal crimes or crimes committed in other states. In 2012, the DCJIS issued regulations providing employers with access to the DCJIS’s database of information, which is referred to as the iCORI system. These regulations imposed obligations on both users of CORI andemployers acquiring criminal history information from private sources—namely, consumer reporting agencies or background check companies.

The DCJIS recently issued amended regulations. These regulatory changes primarily impact iCORI users—i.e., those employers that obtain criminal records provided by the DCJIS itself. The new regulations appear to have minimal impact on employers that order background checks sourced directly from court records, which remain excluded from CORI. Below we summarize the changes to the regulations. FULL RELEASE