Employee Protections during Police Record Checks
Often employers require a new hire to provide a police record check. Starting November 1, 2018 changes made under Ontario’s Police Record Checks Reform Act will be in force. Previously, these checks were not regulated in Ontario. With the new Reform Act in force, the police record checks process becomes standardized across Ontario for all employers. Employers will not have access to as much information, and employees must consent.
This Reform Act covers:
- Criminal records check,
- Criminal Record and Judicial matters checks; and
- vulnerable sector checks.
The Reform Act now requires consent at two stages for police background checks. The first stage includes consent from the employee to conduct the particular type of check and the second stage requires consent to the police record check provider to provide a copy of these results to the employer.
These changes also limit the information given to employers upon conducting a police record check to what is necessary and relevant. Information such as mental health detentions and non-conviction information will not be disclosed unless deemed necessary for “exceptional disclosure.” This will occur primarily if the alleged offence involved a child or vulnerable person and there are reasonable grounds to believe the individual presents a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable person.
Lessons for Employees
- Make sure your current or future employer has your consent to conduct the search and see the results.
- The record check process will likely take longer, so keep that in mind if you receive a conditional employment offer. Don’t resign too quickly from any current job.
- If an employer or another person willfully contravenes certain sections of the Reform Act can be liable for a fine of up to $5,000.
If you have any questions about your rights during the hiring processes you can contact our Barrie and Toronto Employment Lawyers at MacLeod Law Firm at 647-204-8107 or at [email protected]
Read our other blogs related to police record checks.