In March of 2013, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) issued a bulletin to all of their members stating that Canada Post (CPC) would be implementing a new practice of conducting employee background checks for all personnel. The new policy allows Canada Post to “security screen all current employees every 10 years”, it also gives them the power to change the time lines of these screenings at any point.
The process will start with having all CPC employees to sign a consent form which allows Canada Post to conduct employee background checks. Refusal to sign will result in progressive discipline, up to termination. If an employee has a criminal record, that employee will be required to be fingerprinted. The fingerprints will then be submitted to the RCMP for the ordering of a certified criminal record. Certified criminal records contain information regarding any convictions, conviction dates, sentences, as well as any charges that appear (even if you were not found guilty of that offence). Canada Post will then submit a letter requesting a “resolution of doubt interview” with the employee where they will need to state the details of their conviction. This information will be forwarded to the General Manager of Security and Investigation who decides if the employee possesses what they refer to as, “reliability status”. If the employee does NOT, they will be terminated from their employment with Canada Post.
How Can This Affect Me?
This type of employee background check is commonly referred to as a “mid-employment criminal record check”. Such employee background checks can affect promotions, pay scale, and even termination of employees who have performed a stellar work history within a company. For example, if John Doe, has a criminal record from an offence or even a charge in 1979 and started with a company in December 1988, under this new “security screen” protocol, he may be terminated if the General Manager of Security and Investigation rules that he does not have “reliability status”. John Doe has now been terminated from his employment for his criminal record which dates back 34 years, just shy of his 25 year anniversary with the company. A troubling, but realistic scenario.
Employers may refuse employment for ANY offence on a criminal record in ON, NT, NU, NL, NB, NS, MB, SK, and AB. However, in BC, PE, QC, and YT, employers can NOT discriminate based on your criminal record unless it directly relates to the position in question. (i.e. If you were applying for a bank and you have a fraud charge on your record).
If you currently have a Criminal Record, and are employed, take the necessary steps and have it dealt with before you find yourself subject to an employee background check, similar as those being put forth by Canada Post. A Criminal Record will follow you around no matter how long ago or how minor the offence was. If you have been convicted or charged of a criminal offence, you have a criminal record. Your criminal record will not be removed automatically. You must make an application under the Criminal Records Act of Canada for a Record Suspension/Pardon. The Act is meant to help people with past offences that are now rehabilitated. Applying for a Record Suspension/Pardon is an investment in your future. Do not let your Criminal Record affect your life, employment, or peace of mind. Apply today!
Canadian Union of Postal Workers- Canada Post Bulletin