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Toronto Employment Lawyers Advising Employees on Criminal Records and Employment 

Often, employers will run a criminal background check during the hiring process or will require prospective and current employees to disclose any criminal charges. This generally causes anxiety and concern even for employees who do not have a record and can raise questions around workplace privacy and human rights.

If your current or potential employer asks you to submit to a criminal record check or any other background check and you have any questions or concerns, or if you believe you have been denied a job based on information about your past, it is best to consult with a knowledgeable employment lawyer.

At Sultan Lawyers in Toronto, our team of exceptional employment lawyers can provide you with guidance and clarification around your rights at work, including background checks and other information an employer may be requesting. With our help you can understand where you stand, your rights and how to best protect yourself.

Criminal Records Checks in Ontario 

In Canada, there are various types of records that an employer can request an employee to provide. These include:

  • Police criminal record check: this is the least invasive type of record check and discloses criminal convictions which have not resulted in record suspensions (i.e. pardons), or absolute and conditional discharges. Employees may be asked to self-disclose this information, and the police will simply confirm whether their records match.
  • Police information check: this is a more thorough type of record check and can include a search of both local and RCMP police databases and records. Information provided can include outstanding charges or warrants, peace bonds, probation, restraining orders, occurrence reports, as well as information about contact with police including 911 calls, mental-health related apprehensions, and other interactions that did not result in any criminal charges.
  • Vulnerable sector check: a vulnerable sector check is an enhanced criminal record check. Such checks are used to confirm whether a person has a record suspension (i.e. a pardon) for sex offences and other violence offences. It also includes a check of national data bases maintained by the RCMP as well as local police records where an applicant lives.

It is important to note that different police services will use different names for the types of record checks they run, and they may not be exactly as referred to above. In addition, employers may also ask prospective or current employees to consent to more general or broad background checks.

The Human Rights Code on Criminal Records and Employment

Ontario’s Human Rights Code makes it illegal to discriminate against employees for a “record of offences”. This legislation specifically defines record of offences as a conviction for which a pardon has been granted. Therefore, if an employee or job applicant has been convicted and pardoned he or she cannot be denied employment or otherwise discriminated against in the workplace based on that pardon and subsequent record. However, if that employer or job applicant has anything other than a pardon that shows up in a background check (including a criminal record, a restraining order, or any contact with police), there is nothing preventing an employer from weeding them out of the employment process or otherwise using that information against them.

Contact Sultan Lawyers in Toronto for Advice on Criminal Record Checks and Employment 

At Sultan Lawyers we understand concerns that employees may have with respect to undergoing a criminal record check or other background check. If you are worried about how the results of such checks may impact your employment, or believe they already have, contact us – we can help. Reach us online or at 416-214-5111 for a consultation.

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