Obsolete Data

With some exceptions, Consumer Reporting Agencies may not report:

  • Bankruptcies more than 14 years old.
  • Suits and judgments more than 7 years old.
  • Paid tax liens more than 7 years old.
  • Arrest, indictment or conviction records more than 7 years old.
  • Any other adverse information more than 7 years old.

Denial Of Employment Due To Adverse Credit Information

If an applicant is denied employment due to adverse credit information contained in a consumer report, then the standard federal adverse action process must occur. Massachusetts law further requires the employer to inform the applicant in writing within 10 days. This notice must be made in a clear, conspicuous format that is no smaller than 10-point type. It must also provide the name, address and toll-free phone number of the Consumer Reporting Agency that produced the report.


This notice must inform the applicant of their rights, using content that is substantially similar to the following:


“You have the right to obtain a free copy of your credit report within sixty days from the consumer credit reporting agency which has been identified on this notice. The consumer credit reporting agency must provide someone to help you interpret the information on your credit report. Each calendar year you are entitled to receive, upon request, one free consumer report.


You have the right to dispute inaccurate information by contacting the consumer credit reporting agency directly. If you have notified a consumer credit reporting agency in writing that you dispute the accuracy of information in your file, the agency must then, within thirty business days, reinvestigate and modify or remove inaccurate information. The consumer credit reporting agency may not charge a fee for this service.


If reinvestigation does not resolve the dispute to your satisfaction, you may send a statement to the consumer credit reporting agency, to be kept in your file, explaining why you think the record is inaccurate. The consumer credit reporting agency must include your statement about the disputed information in a report it issues about you'.”

Effective April 13, 2018

An Act Relative to Criminal Justice Reform

On April 13, 2018 Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill known as An Act Relative to Criminal Justice Reform. This bill, which goes into effect on October 13 2018, updates existing “Ban The Box” laws that were initially introduced in 2010. The bill:

  • Limits the timeframe for which an employer may inquire about certain misdemeanor convictions. Currently, employers may not ask about these misdemeanors if the conviction or final date of incarceration occurred more than five years before the individual completed a job application. The new bill reduces that timeframe to three years. This does not apply to applicants who incurred a new conviction within that three year period.
  • Prohibits employers from asking about criminal records or convictions that have been expunged or sealed.

Effective August 1, 2016

Employers Must Establish Pay Equity

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed bill S.2119, An Act to Establish Pay Equity on August 1, 2016. It is intended to prevent gender-based discrimination in regards to salary, benefits and other compensation. The bill, which goes into effect on January 1, 2018 will prohibit employers from:
  • Requiring applicants to disclose or discuss their salary, benefits or other forms of compensation.
  • Screening applicants based on their salary history, benefits or other forms of compensation.
  • Seeking out the salary history of an applicant unless that applicant provides written authorization for the employer to do so.
  • Taking any adverse action against an employee who opposes any practice that is made unlawful by the bill.
  • Establishing a contract with an employee in order to avoid compliance with the bill.
Exceptions to this law can be made based on:
  • A seniority-based system.
  • A bona fide merit system.
  • Levels of education, training and experience.
  • Position location.
  • The amount of travel that will be required by the position.
Backgrounds Online provides details about State Laws for informational purposes only. We do not provide legal services. Nothing on these pages or our site should be considered as legal advice or opinion.