Criminal charges and convictions

What exactly can an employer ask about a job candidate’s police record?
By Colin Gibson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/29/2018

QUESTION: Can an employer ask a job candidate about her police record? If the employer wants to tighten security in the workplace, can it ask existing employees about any charges or convictions?

ANSWER: Employers are not expressly prohibited from asking job candidates about their police records, or from requesting a criminal record check as part of the application process. However, employers should be aware of the human rights and privacy concerns that may arise if they make such inquiries.

Human rights legislation in several Canadian jurisdictions prevents employers from discriminating on the basis of certain criminal charges or convictions. The level of protection varies depending on the specific language of the legislation.