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In Ontario, the Police Record Checks Reform Act sets out the parameters in which employers may ask about your criminal record. This greatly depends on why the employer is asking and what kind of information they are looking for. An employer may ask if you have been convicted of a crime that you have received a record suspension for. They may decide not to hire you because you have a criminal record. However, if you are the recipient of a record suspension for a crime you have been convicted of, an employer cannot ask about that crime. You may also honestly answer any inquiries into prior convictions by stating that you do not have a criminal record.

Given the above, there are exceptions and some employers can refuse to hire you if you were convicted of a provincial offence or an offence that received a record suspension if it in any way relates to the position you have applied for. Employers must be careful that the decision not to hire the candidate is not based on one of the grounds protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code. The law states that an employer can refuse to hire a candidate based on their criminal conviction(s) if it is reasonable, necessary, and makes sense given what the duties of the job are. For example, an employer may decide not to hire a potential candidate for a driver position if that candidate has been convicted of driving offences (i.e. provincial offences).

If you have any questions about police record checks and obtaining employment and you are looking for legal advice, contact Toronto employment lawyers Sultan Lawyers at 416-214-5111 or via email at mlahert@sultanlawyers.com.