Do you have any resources on legislation in Manitoba pertaining to checking job candidates’ social media pages and doing an internet search? I’m not talking about logging in to their social media account, just googling them. Any information you have on legislation and best practices would be much appreciated.
It just so happens that we DO have some first-rate guidance on this very topic. Start with our piece explaining the legal risks of using social media and search engines for pre-employment background checks. https://hrinsider.ca/demanding-job-applicant-facebook-passwords-for-background-checks/
The starting point is that there is no legislation directly addressing use of social media for employee background checks—not in Manitoba, not in any other part of Canada and not in most of the industrial world, with a few scattered exceptions like Germany. Such legislation WILL exist one day, but for now the laws are still running behind the technology.
However, while there are no express laws, social media background checking can get you into trouble under current laws that address the issue indirectly:
- Background checks may violate a job applicant’s privacy rights under PIPEDA or provincial personal privacy laws, especially in Alberta, BC and Quebec; and
- Background checks may also raise red flags of discrimination to the extent the job applicant has one or more of the personal characteristics, e.g., race, religion, sex, national origin, disability, etc., protected by human rights laws.
The article mentioned above explains the liability risks and the things you can do to manage them. It even includes a few TOOLS like a Model Form disclosing how you use social media for background checking.