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Massachusetts Cracks Down on Businesses Violating its Ban the Box Law

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s (AG) Office recently launched an investigation into whether employers were complying with the state’s Ban the Box law.  The law went into effect in 2010 as part of a legislative effort to reform the state’s Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) system.

The AG’s Office announced that it discovered 19 businesses violating the Ban the Box law by asking questions about applicants’ criminal histories on initial job applications, including whether the applicants had been convicted of violating the law, whether they had been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor other than a minor traffic violation, and whether they had been convicted of a felony.  Agreements were reached with two of those businesses, Brooks Brothers and DesignWerkes, Inc.  Under the agreements, each business paid $5,000 to the state and came into compliance with the Ban the Box law.  The AG’s Office also sent warning letters to 17 other Massachusetts businesses.  All 17 have confirmed compliance after receiving the letters.

Hire Image research indicates that this is not the first time the AG’s Office has conducted an investigation regarding Ban the Box.  In fact, not even a year ago, it conducted a similar investigation, which found 21 businesses in violation.  This makes it clear that Massachusetts takes enforcement of this law very seriously and efforts to that end will likely continue.  Employers in Massachusetts should review their applications and ensure there is no question on there that could violate the Ban the Box law.


For more information on Ban the Box and other laws and whether they affect your state, visit our resource guide at

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