Skip to Content

Reference Checks

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 »

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 »

"Privacy In Practice: Top 10 Workplace Q&As"

Andrea York, a lawyer at Blakes, wrote a paper entitled, "Privacy In Practice: Top 10 Workplace Q&As" for the Six-Minute Employment Lawyer conference that was presented by The Law Society of Upper Canada in Toronto on June 15, 2010. 

The 10 questions she addresses are:  read more »

"Privacy Topics in Labour Relations"

Lorene A. Novakowski with the assistance of Kelly Duggleby, both of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP in Vancouver, wrote a paper entitled, "Privacy Topics in Labour Relations" for the Labour Relations Conference - 2010 (Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia) (June 2010).

The paper addresses the following:

  • Recent Privacy Cases of Interest in Labour Relations

    • Background Checks
    • GPS
    • Video Surveillance on the Picket Line
    • Access Request to Unions
  • Access and Privacy Issues: The White Paper of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia A Guide for Tribunals
  • Charter Values and Surveillance Should Doman Finally be Abandoned

More on employee background checks and references

"Employee Backgroud Checks and References" is the topic of Vancouver law firm, Bull, Housser & Tupper's January 29, 2010 labour and employment law newsletter. You can read it here.

"Periodic Criminal Record Checks May Infringe Privacy Right"

"Periodic Criminal Record Checks May Infringe Privacy Right" is the title of the most recent labour and employment newsletter from Vancouver law firm Bull, Housser & Tupper. You can read it here.  

"Privacy Issues in Pre-Employment Screening"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Jennifer Wiegele at Harris & Company prepared a paper on, "Privacy Issues in Pre-Employment Screening" for the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC's May 2009 Employment Law Conference - 2009.

Former employer/prospective employer complied with PIPA in relation to information disclosed during reference check

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

In Orders P2006-006 and P2006-007, the Alberta Privacy Commissioner ruled that the former employer and the prospective employer had complied with the Alberta Personal Information Protection Act in relation to information disclosed during a reference check.

"Critical Issues in the Hiring Process"

"Critical Issues in the Hiring Process" (December 1, 2007)  is the title of a paper written by two lawyers at Blaney McMurtry LLP on Ontario, Elizabeth Forster and Goli Garakani.