Massachusetts Passes Additions to Ban-the-Box Law

Monday, June 25, 2018

Massachusetts has a ban-the-box law that has been in place for about 10 years, and recently passed an addition to that law to prohibit inquiries into certain misdemeanor convictions and sealed or expunged records for employment purposes.  The new law is effective October 13, 2018.  Massachusetts law requires employers to remove from job applications any question that asks a job applicant to self-disclose their criminal history. Employers must wait until later in the hiring process to do so, unless the employer is prohibited by law from employing criminal offenders in the position at issue.

The new law requires that employers not ask about any misdemeanor conviction where the date of the conviction, or the completion of any period of incarceration resulting from the conviction, occurred more than three years prior to the date of the employment application, unless the person was convicted of another crime within the three years preceding the inquiry. Also, employers may not ask about a criminal record that has been expunged.

Any form used by an employer that seeks information about an applicant’s criminal history must include a statement about expunged records, in addition to a statement already required concerning sealed records.
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