This article will help you:
- Pair CORI searches, when required, with Checkr background checks
- Differentiate between the information in CORI and in a Checkr background report
In Massachusetts, employers can access the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) statewide database to research potential criminal records. Some industries, such as healthcare companies, are required to use CORI as part of their pre-employment screening process.
What information does CORI contain, and is it the same as a Checkr search?
CORI is a name-based search of criminal information regarding crimes investigated and prosecuted in Massachusetts. CORI is maintained by the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS); however, CORI does not contain all of the records and complete case information housed in Massachusetts courts.
Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRA) like Checkr also utilize name-based searches, but rely on different databases and public court records to compile reports. Records obtained from individual Massachusetts county courts are not the same records found in CORI searches.
Checkr searches may cover the same information contained in CORI, depending on the comprehensiveness of the national search and address history for each candidate, but the information may not be identical due to the use of different sources.
Is CORI included in a Checkr background check?
By Massachusetts regulation, CRAs are not allowed to use CORI unless the employer authorizes the CRA to be the “decision maker” on whether to hire the individual.
This generally means that CORI will be accessed separately from a background check report. If your company is required by law to search CORI, you will need to do so in addition to your Checkr search.
What else is required to run CORI searches?
Employers must obtain a signed acknowledgment form from the employee or candidate authorizing the employer to view the records. Additionally, employers must enter into an “iCORI Agency Agreement” for continued access to the database.
Employers may not maintain CORI records for more than seven years after the employee’s last date of employment or the date of the final decision not to hire an candidate. Hard copies of CORI must be stored in locked and secured locations, and electronic copies must be password-protected and encrypted.