A Criminal Conviction And Your Job
To get the best possible fit for a position, a company will use various methods to obtain a full background of the person applying for a job. A criminal conviction can have dire consequences on your job prospects, but it’s important to be knowledgeable about the hiring process. Massachusetts laws and regulations that employers must follow when they have employees.
When an employee is hired without a contract, they are an at-will employee. That means the relationship between employee and employer can be terminated at any time by either party for any reason. There are small exceptions to that rule but overall, the employer can terminate an employee based on a criminal conviction. The employee can be terminated for a either a felony or misdemeanor.
Any employee who is governed and protected by a union is also subject to its grievance procedures contained in the bargaining agreements. Leaders of the union can agree to policies with the head of management. Employees must follow those rules and policies because they are part of the union.
The CORI Act
CORI stands for criminal offender record information. It’s a person’s criminal history. The CORI Act allows employers to request certain criminal information. When applying for a job, a candidate might be required to sign a release allowing the employer to obtain a CORI report. A company cannot ask a potential employee to bring their own CORI report.
There are certain circumstances in which the criminal record can be sealed. A CORI will not reveal information on a sealed record, so the information contained in the CORI cannot effect employment. An applicant does not have to reveal what is in the sealed record to an employer. Cases without a conviction and some misdemeanors can be sealed after a waiting period and the proper documentation being filed.
Employers can make decisions regarding employment based on the information obtained in a CORI report but only if the employer complies with the CORI Act’s requirements. The employer cannot require an employee to take a lie detector test to keep their job or as a requirement to obtain a job with the company.
If a criminal conviction is affecting your job contact Massachusetts Criminal Attorney Patrick Donovan for a free consultation. Attorney Donovan is a former prosecutor that has appeared in over fifty courts in Massachusetts.