Limiting job applications to a specific geographic areaIs geographic area a protected ground?By Stuart Rudner09/03/2014|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 09/03/2014 Question: Can a company limit candidates for a position to a specific geographic area, or is that a form of discrimination?Answer: Generally speaking, employers can establish any criteria they choose when hiring. Of course, criteria or decisions that relate even partially to a ground protected by human rights legislation will contravene that legislation. Limiting candidates based upon geography would not, in and of itself, be a breach of human rights or in any way be against the law.However, geography can indirectly relate to prohibited grounds. For example, certain neighbourhoods will have — or not have — certain ethnic or religious groups living in them. As a result, discriminating based on such neighbourhoods could constitute indirect discrimination, which is equally unlawful. Employers cannot do indirectly what they are prohibited from doing directly. For example, we all understand that a policy of not hiring those of Italian descent would be unlawful. However, employers cannot “get away with it” by establishing criteria that would implicitly rule out Italian candidates. To Read the Full Story, Subscribe or Sign In Remember Me Forgot Password If you are a current Subscriber, please click here to set-up or update your login information.