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Canada’s Mid-Employment Checks – Legal but Complicated

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The effects of a new rule placed by the Canadian government institution are beginning to come to the surface, especially now that Canada’s Post Corp., its main postal service provider has changed its policy to match it. Its 71,000 employees will have to adhere to the new policy, which required background checks for mid-employment positions. Its main opposition comes from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), who are opposed to the new policy for several reasons, including the vague requirements outlines, the lack of disclosure about the purpose and scope and the risk of discrimination.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission assures employees that asking a current employee to sign a consent form for background checks is in no way a violation of their human rights. On the other hand, Rhonda Fairweather, a general manager for First Advantage Canada Inc., one of the largest background check companies throughout all Canadian provinces states that the types of screening processes are directly related to the position.

Bill Howatt, Ph.D., CEO of Nova Scotia-based Howatt HR Consulting Inc., assures Canada postal employees that their risk is minimal, especially if they have good reviews and past behavior within the company. At the same time however, he poses the questions on everyone’s minds. Why now? What is causing this? And how will this impact the employee culture in the long run? In a statement that partially counters this curiosity, Fairweather reminds the public that in the U.S. mid-employment positions have been screened for a long time now, and that in the end, the employer has a right to know who they have working for them.

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Canada's Mid-Employment Checks - Legal but Complicated by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes