Significant changes to the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) law go into effect on May 4, 2012. Under the 2010 CORI reform we have already seen changes that were implemented as of November 4, 2010. As of that date employers are banned from asking questions about your criminal history on the initial written job application,unless the conviction information is required for a particular job pursuant to federal or state law. As of May 4, 2012, an employer must provide a copy of any criminal record information in that employer’s possession prior to questioning an applicant about their criminal history. If an adverse employment decision is made due to that individual’s criminal record, the prospective employer must give the job seeker a copy of the record that their decision was based upon.
SEALING YOUR CORI/WAITING PERIODS
One of the most significant changes under the new CORI reform relates to the waiting periods for sealing felony and misdemeanor cases. Under the new law the waiting period for sealing is now 10 years for felonies and 5 years for misdemeanors. The clock begins to tick when an individual is released from incarceration. If the sentence did not include a period of incarceration, the clock begins to tech at the time all court proceedings have been included including the end of any probationary term. It is important to note that an intervening conviction will reset the clock. Moreover, sealing your record does not occur automatically. It is very important to hire an experienced Massachusetts CORI rights defense attorney who will be able to review your entire criminal history, scan it for potential errors and inaccurate information, and file paperwork to correct your record so that you may be able eligible for sealing the record as soon as possible.
Under the new CORI reform law, there are procedures now in place to allow people the right to inspect and obtain a copy of their own criminal records. Moreover, new guidelines will be published to to help deal with the problem of correcting inaccurate information. The new law established a Criminal Record Review Board to hear complaints pertaining to violations of the CORI law, including the failure to provide a copy of your record before questioning by a potential employer or after an adverse decision regarding employment has been made.