Criminal Records Checks: Vital Protection Or Class Discrimination?

4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Criminal Records Checks: Vital Protection Or Class Discrimination?

With the issue about police defunding lately, one thing I think we should discuss is the idea of criminal records checks. Not only workplaces, but even many places to volunteer are requiring them as a condition employment or volunteer service. Should this practice continue?

Let's look at one aspect. Obviously having someone with a criminal record going into policing or joining the military is going to be an issue. If someone is convicted of embezzlement or fraud, that will be an issue if that person is applying for a position handling a large sum of money. The same is true of someone convicted of sexual offenses working with vulnerable populations. Most indications are that pedophiles, for instance, cannot be reformed and should not be allowed near children.

On the other hand, is this an open door to continually punish someone for a crime now and forever until the end of time? Say someone robbed a bank 20 years ago, served the sentence, and moved on to becoming a productive citizen. Is it fair to restrict said person's employment options based on such an act?

The biggest issue of all is that criminal records checks only deal with people who have been caught. There's always the possibility of bad people doing bad things who haven't been brought to the attention of the authorities yet, so criminal records checks do nothing to stop these people.



My wife volunteers at a school so she gets a criminal record check. We both think it is a good idea. If checks aren't mandatory then the people with something to hide will not volunteer them. Having a criminal record is in the enumerated list in the BC's Human Rights Code dealing with employment discrimination.

Discrimination in employment

13   (1) A person must not

(a) refuse to employ or refuse to continue to employ a person, or

(b) discriminate against a person regarding employment or any term or condition of employment

because of the race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or age of that person or because that person has been convicted of a criminal or summary conviction offence that is unrelated to the employment or to the intended employment of that person.

(2) An employment agency must not refuse to refer a person for employment for any reason mentioned in subsection (1).

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply

(a) as it relates to age, to a bona fide scheme based on seniority, or

(b) as it relates to marital status, physical or mental disability, sex or age, to the operation of a bona fide retirement, superannuation or pension plan or to a bona fide group or employee insurance plan, whether or not the plan is the subject of a contract of insurance between an insurer and an employer.

(4) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply with respect to a refusal, limitation, specification or preference based on a bona fide occupational requirement.


Did your wife pay for her check? Many people have to do so at their own expense, in particular students in programs to work with vulnerable people, such as children, the elderly, or those with disabilities.


No she didn't have to pay for it. I am not sure what rules you are talking about. Maybe you could post them. Here are the rules in BC.