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Employer Ordered Not to Conduct Credit Checks

EMPLOYEE PRIVACY—CANADA

February 25, 2010

Alberta's Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) has ordered a retailer to stop performing credit information checks on job candidates, determining the practice is not "reasonably required" to assess job performance ability for sales associates, reports the Canadian HR Reporter. The decision followed the investigation of a complaint by a job applicant alleging the practice contravened the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). The company had responded by explaining it used credit checks to help assess such factors as whether applicants are financially responsible or pose theft or fraud risks, but the OIPC disagreed. The retailer has agreed to cease the practice.
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