What an employer may ask an applicant about criminal history.

Asked almost 5 years ago - Boston, MA

My company recently was bought out, and we had to fill out a new application for employment. The application ask the usual questions that are "allowed" in massachusetts, but added "have you ever been on probation". I thought, according to MCAD, that that question would not be allowed. I have a CWOF with probation that was later dismissed. I was told by my lawyer at the time, this would not come up on an application in ma. I have said no, mainly because if I put yes, then they would know my past record. This happened 2 years ago and everything seems fine. If it is allowed on an application, I beleive it is skirting the protection that the state gives. Asking have you been on probation in the past is really no different than asking if you have been arrested.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Paul Alan Manoff

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . you're right, they shouldn't be asking it. Some out of state companies are not familiar with Massachusetts law.

  2. Jay M Wolman

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . Without vouching for all of the contents, here is a general guide to how employers can deal with the question of criminal records:

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