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Canadian organization says background screenings stigmatize certain groups

Sep 25, 2012 Quinn Thomas

Background screenings help small business owners determine if applicants are financially sound and trustworthy. A Canadian organization is now alleging certain parts of the process may be unfair to potential employees. A report from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association said that individuals who were charged but never convicted for crimes may be burdened with an unfair stigma when applying for jobs. The report suggests that records with dropped charges should be deleted or separated from police databases so that they aren't included in employers' regular background checks. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police said it will study the report's recommendations and then decide on possible further action. "Employers who receive negative records checks may not fully understand the distinctions between different types of police information, creating significant risk that non-conviction records will be misconstrued as a clear indication of criminal conduct," the report said. Canadian Lawyer Magazine adds that the report features no comprehensive data on the totality of such situations.