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I am asking for a friend of mine who recently applied for a warehouse job at a food distribution company. He received a call seeking permission to conduct a credit check as part of their "character assessment" phase of the hiring process. It was also suggested it would hurt his chances if he didn't agree to the check. After agreeing to the check, he later learned that this is common practice in the job market as he was told in the phone call. As he went through a personal bankruptcy last year, it came as no surprise when he was told they hired another candidate (even though they were not explicit in the details of their decision).

Is this a form of discrimination? As the position being filled was not one that required a high level of trust, is this not an over stepping of the sort of boundaries familiar to our civil rights and a right to privacy?

Thank you for your question.

The Human Rights Code does not prohibit refusal to hire a prospective employee as a result of an unfavourable credit check. Credit checks are permitted under the Ontario Consumer Reporting Act under prescribed circumstances.
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