A Massachusetts state senator has proposed legislation concerning professional licensure. According to the senator, it would require contractors to undergo background checks to acquire or renew their licensure. As such, it would help protect homeowners entrusting projects to contractors from fraud or theft.
Senator Susan Moran filed Senate Bill S2389 with the Massachusetts State Senate. This bill responds to recent press reports that found contractors failed to perform work on prepaid projects. According to the reports, existing protections and legal recourses often failed to help homeowners.
As such, Sen. Moran intended for S2389 to prevent scams before they can start. It would do this by denying dishonest individuals from becoming contractors within the state. Should Massachusetts’s legislatures approve, the bill would affect many individuals in the trades. As stated, it would require background checks for everyone wishing to acquire or renew licensures.
This bill would require interested parties to file applications for registering or renewing their licensures with the commonwealth. Afterward, the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation would begin the background checks on the contractors. These background checks would search for prior convictions related to fraud.
S2389 would also amend Section 9 of Chapter 142A of the General Law. This amendment would follow subsection (d). It would concern the following points:
“Prior to approving any application for registration or renewal conforming to the requirements of this chapter, the director shall refer identifying information regarding an application to the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, which shall obtain criminal offender record information but shall transmit only the following information to the director: Any conviction of the applicant of gross fraud or cheating as defined by section 76 of chapter 266” and “(17) engaging in gross fraud or cheat as defined by section 76 of chapter 266;.”
Sen. Moran expects the bill to find those with track records of dishonesty. She also hopes it would identify applicants attempting to move between jurisdictions after other states have banned them from working as contractors. According to Moran, this will help to prevent bad actors from slipping through the cracks.
Background checks like what this Act establishes help protect the public from scams and other harm. However, this applies to more than just contractors and includes employers in other fields. The best way to perform an accurate and comprehensive background check for employment is to work with a trusted and experienced screening provider.
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