As employers may recall1, Massachusetts strengthened the state’s ban-the-box laws last year to add more restrictions concerning what employers can and cannot ask prospective employees on their initial job applications. State Attorney General Healey continues to demonstrate her commitment to reducing recidivism in the state by strictly enforcing the anti-discrimination laws. On May 6, 2019 Healey announced the citation of nineteen employers for ban the box violations. Two of the nineteen employers entered into settlement agreements with the Attorney General’s Office, under which they were required to pay fines of $5,000 each to the state.
Healey bases her dedicated enforcement of these laws on her commonly shared belief that people who have “paid their debt to society” should not be categorically excluded from employment during the application stage as they currently often are. These citations should serve as a reminder to Massachusetts employers that they must work with their employment counsel to update their application policies and procedures to come into compliance with the state’s new requirements as soon as possible, if they haven’t already done so.
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