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Criminal Records Check

BC Privacy Commissioner to consider use of PRIME police database for employment-related criminal record checks

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

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 »

Best practices guide on ciminal background checks published for US employers

Jurisdiction: - United States

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.

Newfoundland & Labrador issue guidelines on new “criminal ground" protection in Human Rights Act

Jurisdiction: - Newfoundland & Labrador

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

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Public Safety

In the May 14, 2010 labour arbitration decision in Vancouver (City) v. Vancouver Firefighters' Union, Local 18 (Police Records Checks Grievance), [2010] 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 »

"Background Check Program a Reasonable Exercise of Management Rights"

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

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).

Top 10 Canadian Cases on Workplace Privacy in Unionized Employment

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:

 read more »

"Pre-Employment Screening: Changes to the Criminal Records Check Process"

"Pre-Employment Screening: Changes to the Criminal Records Check Process" is the title of an article published today by law firm McCarthy Tetrault. The article addresses an Interim Policy Statement that has been issued by the RCMP concerning processes and procedures for criminal records checks. The article can be read here.