Saturday, August 31, 2013

State and Federal Criminal History Checks Required For Some Local Businesses

   Massachusetts General Law chapter 6 section 172B 1/2 allows municipalities to enact bylaws (ordinances) that would require applicants for licenses in specified occupations to undergo a State and Federal Criminal History records check as part of the application process.  The Federal records check requires a full set of fingerprints which the local police department can then run through the FBI files.  The records must be kept confidential and only disseminated as allowed by law.  The law does not specify which businesses municipalities can target.  It allows municipalities to establish a fee for the administering and processing the fingerprinting.

One Massachusetts Municipality that created a bylaw in accordance with this law is Norton Massachusetts.  The bylaw was approved at the town meeting on October 12, 2011 and by the Attorney General on November 17, 2011.  The businesses that are targeted in the Norton bylaw are:  Hawkers and Peddlers, Door-to-Door Sales, Pawn Brokers, Solicitors, Taxi and Livery licenses and any license to sell alcoholic beverages (including the “responsible manager” listed on the license.

Businesses owners applying for licenses should check the local  Bylaws to see if the municipality requires applicants to undergo both State and Federal Criminal History records check as part of the application process.   Since these laws are relatively new, business owners may need to contact the municipality directly for this information.

Further Information can be found on the following web pages: