Off-limit questions when hiring

A general guide to the prohibited grounds of discrimination based on a review of Canadian human rights legislation and on the types of questions that commonly arise in the hiring process
By Helen Gray
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Employment advertising, application forms and interviews are screening tools for elimination of unqualified persons from consideration for employment. Gathering facts by these means about a prospective employee is an important part of the hiring process. However, information that is not relevant to job performance may be used to restrict or deny employment opportunities, whether intentionally or inadvertently. The hiring process should be designed to select persons on the basis of genuine qualifications relevant to job performance such as education and experience and on the basis of individual merit rather than group generalizations or stereotypes.

This article is intended as a general guide to the prohibited grounds of discrimination based on a review of Canadian human rights legislation and on the types of questions that commonly arise in the hiring process. Employers are encouraged to consult the legislation governing their enterprises and any hiring guidelines published by the applicable human rights commission.

Equal opportunity of employment under human rights legislation