Oct 18 2018 Massachusetts Ban the Box Amendment Effective October 13th
Going into effect October 13th, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s An Act Relative to Criminal Justice Reform (Senate Bill S.2371) formally amends the state’s “Ban the Box” law and further restricts the ability of employers to consider the criminal history of job applicants during the hiring process.
Mass. Gen. L. c. 151B § 4(9) and Mass. Gen. L. c. 151B § 4(9½) are amended as follows.
Decreased Time Period for Disclosure of Misdemeanor Convictions: Employers are prohibited from asking applicants, either written or orally, about any misdemeanor where the date of conviction or completion of incarceration occurred three (amended from five) years prior to the date of application, unless the applicant has been convicted of any offense in that same period.
New Restriction Regarding Sealed or Expunged Records: Employers are now additionally prohibited from asking applicants, either written or orally, about criminal records that have been sealed or expunged.
Required Notice Language to Applicants: An application for employment used by any employer which seeks information concerning prior arrests or convictions of the applicant shall include the following statement: “An applicant for employment with a record expunged pursuant to section 100F, section 100G, section 100H or section 100K of chapter 276 may answer ‘no record’ with respect to an inquiry herein relative to prior arrests, criminal court appearances or convictions. An applicant for employment with a record expunged pursuant to section 100F, section 100G, section 100H or section 100K of chapter 276 may answer ‘no record’ to an inquiry herein relative to prior arrests, criminal court appearances, juvenile court appearances, adjudications or convictions.”
This Act – enhances employer obligations in multiple way including prohibiting employers from asking job applicants for information about the following types of criminal history:
An arrest, detention, or disposition regarding any violation of law in which no conviction resulted;
A first offense for any of the following misdemeanors: drunkenness, simple assault, speeding, minor traffic violations, affray, or disturbance of the peace; and
Any conviction of a misdemeanor where the date of conviction, or the completion of any period of incarceration resulting therefrom, occurred five or more years prior to the date of the application, unless such person has been convicted of any offense within the preceding five-year period.
Ban the Box laws have been passed in several states besides Massachusetts. Other states that have passed Ban the Box laws in America include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and most recently Michigan.
This information was composed based off white papers from ESR as well as https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/S2371 which is the 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
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