A settlement In excess of $480,000 has been agreed by Care.com for misleading consumers. The case takes in it’s background checks for caregivers plans. By way of restitution the settlement addresses the shortfalls in background checks for caregivers that families thought they were getting. Those that pay for peace of mind should receive what they pay for. The Assurance of Discontinuance also directs that Care.com ensures parents and guardians know exactly what they will be receiving when purchasing background checks for caregivers. The Office of The Attorney General confirm district courts maintain the majority of Massachusetts misdemeanor and felony records.

The Assurance of Discontinuance filed in the Suffolk Superior Court. This resolves the Attorney General’s office claim that Care.com was in violation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act. Massachusetts consumers looked to specifically establish background checks for caregivers. However it vigorously disputed that they were involved in wrongdoing and that the information on it’s site was materially misleading. The company also believed that families deserved to have easy access to background check data and that the data was affordable. What they offered allowed families to make informed and safer decisions when hiring. Consumers totalling 2,900 will receive $126,820 in restitution and $355,00 paid over to the State.

The company assisted families searching for caregivers and those families paid for background checks for caregivers with search options. Those options were that its products (“Preferred” and “Preferred+”) included a report for the relevant “states and/or counties” that the caregiver was resident within the preceding seven years. However The Attorney General’s office allege the background checks relate to The Massachusetts Superior Court records and that the checks did not routinely confirm criminal records from District Courts within the state.

Criminal background check for caregivers – families need to know

As a condition of the settlement the company will now provide those consumers in Massachusetts more information around its products inclusive specific limitations. Limitations relate to types of criminal records excluded, geographical reach and type of court records searched. This information available prior to Massachusetts consumers buying a background check. The company agreed to provide extra information to consumers in relation to a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check. CORI is the central database of information for criminal records in Massachusetts. Those parents, families and consumers seeking a background check for caregivers may be eligible to obtain a more comprehensive review of criminal records via a CORI check. The CORI database differs from the Care.com background check in that results from all state courts within Massachusetts are returned.

Unlike the Care.com background check, the CORI system includes criminal record information from all state courts in Massachusetts. The CORI system also has specific models to assist families and parents to make informed decisions for home health aides and child care providersThe case overseen by The Consumer Protection Division along with The Child and Youth Protection Unit. A company spokesperson advised that around two years ago they had become aware of inconsistencies in its Massachusetts background checks. The company then notified consumers immediately by email and letter. It further amended disclosures and descriptions about background checks on it’s website.