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Frequently Asked Questions About Employee Background Checks

This article covers some of the most common questions asked about employee background checks in Canada. Question topics include: Credit Checks, Drug and Alcohol Testing, Medical Examinations and Criminal Background Checks. Here are a few of the questions and answers: Is an employer allowed to perform a credit check on an employee or prospective employee? An employer may perform a credit check on an employee or prospective employee if the employer intends to use the information for employment purposes. Such purposes include considering new hires, granting promotions, reassigning employment duties or determining whether to retain someone as an employee. Who can be subjected to a drug/alcohol test? Any employee may be subjected to a drug/alcohol test, however, drug and alcohol testing that has no demonstrable relationship to job safety and performance has been found to be a violation of employee rights. Can an employer decline to hire a prospective employee or terminate an employee based on the results of the criminal background check? A decision not to hire someone based solely on the fact that he or she has a criminal record is discriminatory under the Code. However, an employer would not be discriminating if it makes the decision regarding employment based on a record of offence that closely relates to an important quality of the job. If a person has received a pardon for the crime that they committed, an employer cannot refuse to hire that person because of that crime.

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