As discussed in our prior blog posts from November 2010 and our subsequent update, all the provisions of the two year old Criminal Offender Record Information (“CORI”) reform law have all been put into effect as of May 4, 2012.

Below is a “to-do list” for employers as they amend their policies and practices to comply with the new law:

•    Employers that access records through CORI must obtain acknowledgement forms from their applicants and retain the forms for at least one year.

•    Employers must limit the dissemination of information obtained from CORI to employees on a “need to know basis.”

•    If information obtain from CORI is disseminated outside of the employer’s organization, the employer must keep a secondary dissemination log.

•    Employers that conduct at least five criminal background checks a year must maintain a written policy about the use of criminal background information.

•    If an employer hires a third party to conduct background checks, it still must provide notice and due process under the CORI reform law if they decide not to hire an applicant because of his or her criminal background.

•    If an employer chooses not to hire an applicant because of a criminal background history, the employer must give a copy of the criminal history record to the applicant.

Employers need to be careful as they request criminal background information about potential employees from CORI and from applicants themselves.  A cautious employer must be sure to implement policies that strictly follow the mandates of the CORI reform law.