Criminal Records Check
Non-Profit in compliance with PIPA when it collected written account of employee’s criminal activity
In Redi Enterprises Society, Oorder P2016 -07 (November 30, 2016), the Alberta Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner ruled that a non-profit organization, Redi Enterprises Society, did not breach the Alberta Personal Information Protection Act when it asked its employee to provide a written account of her past criminal conviction. Specifically, the Commissioner ruled:
[para 35] In this case, I find the Organization has provided me with a reasonable explanation for why the information it collects is necessary to manage an employment relationship. I also find the Organization gave sufficient notice to the Complainant of the reason for the collection. The Organization works with vulnerable individuals and seeks to ensure a safe and secure environment for those clients. Further, the Organization seeks the information only to manage the employment relationship. The information is on the employee file and will be treated as confidential. read more »
BC Privacy Commissioner to consider use of PRIME police database for employment-related criminal record checks
BC's Information and Privacy Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, issued a news release yesterday in which she confirmed that her office:
- has been examining the issue of employment-related criminal records checks for several months; and
- will take the recent concerns voiced by the BC Civil Liberties Association ("BCCLA") about the PRIME police database into consideration.
PRIME stands for "Police Records Information Management Environment".
The Commissioner's release goes on to state: read more »
The National Employment Law Project is a US advocacy organization for employment rights of lower-wage workers, It has offices across the United States and a staff of lawyers, policy experts and researchers.
Of note to US employers, the Project recently published a "Criminal Background Checks: A Best Practices Guide" (March 17, 2011), which speaks to best practices in the US context.
In July 2010, Newfoundland and Labrador's Human Rights Act was amended to include an additional prohibited ground of discrimination known as the "criminal ground."
The Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission has issued guidelines in relation to this new ground that can be found here: "Guidelines Regarding Employment of Persons with Criminal Convictions" (current as of February 23, 2011). As set out in the Guidelines:
This new ground protects persons with a criminal record from being discriminated against by potential or current employers on the basis of that record. The Act prohibits employers from imposing conditions of employment, refusing to employ, or otherwise discriminating against an employee because of a criminal conviction that is unrelated to his or her employment.2 The following information provides further detail on the intent behind this addition to the Act.
BC arbitrator addresses whether existing employees can be required to submit to periodic criminal record checks
In the May 14, 2010 labour arbitration decision in Vancouver (City) v. Vancouver Firefighters' Union, Local 18 (Police Records Checks Grievance),  B.C.C.A.A.A. No. 81, a BC arbitrator addressed whether an employer could introduce a policy that would require unionized employees in certain designated positions to submit to updated criminal record checks every five years.
Jennifer Roper, at Roper Greyell in Vancouver, has written an article about this decision ("Can Employees be Required to Submit to Criminal Record Checks?") for the firm's September 2010 newsletter. read more »
Hadiya Roderique, a lawyer at Fasken Martineau in Ontario, has written a bulletin entitled "Background Check Program a Reasonable Exercise of Management Rights" (August 4, 2010).
The bulletin provides a case summary of the decision of Arbitrator Watters in Re Diageo Canada Inc. and C.A.W.-Canada, Local 2098 (January 20 2010).
Lancaster House presented an audio-conference last Thursday (May 13, 2010) on the "Top 10 Cases on Workplace Privacy in the Unionized Workplace". The cases covered - there were more than 10 - were: