Criminal Background Checks Okay for Security-Sensitive Jobs

|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/06/2011

Notified that the employer would be requesting criminal background checks for employees in security-sensitive positions, the union filed a policy grievance arguing that the practice was unwarranted and that it represented an unreasonable exercise of management rights.

The employer, a distiller with operations both in Ireland and Scotland in addition to an Ontario location next to the U.S. border, sought to implement the policy in response to the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) administered by the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency (CPB).

Introduced in 2004, the C-TPAT is a program designed to enhance supply chain security for goods entering the United States. The voluntary program outlines compliance standards for a range of security issues, prescribes best practices — including criminal background checks where permitted — and accords status to companies based on their level of compliance.