Employee personal information a sensitive area for employers

Following basic guidelines should help employers avoid privacy violations
By Helen Gray
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Employers have several legitimate business reasons for the collection and retention of personal information about current and prospective employees. Collecting information such as home addresses and social security numbers is common and consent to its collection is implied when a prospective employee fills out a job application asking for this information. Collection of other types of personal information will generally require a clearer expression of consent and a legitimate need for the information.

An employer should inform the individual of the type of information to be collected and its purpose. These principles apply to the collection of employee personal information through background checks, voiceprint technology, video surveillance and monitoring of Internet or e-mail.

Privacy legislation