A recommended guide for pre-employment inquiries
A printable PDF version of this information sheet is available.
|COMMON QUESTION AREAS||RECOMMENDED||NOT RECOMMENDED|
|Gender, marital status, family status||Availability for shift work, travel, etc.||Plans for marriage, family, childcare. Any inquiries specific to gender or marital status (including common-law relationships) or family status.|
|Race, colour, ancestry or place of origin||Legally permitted to work in Canada?||Place of birth, citizenship, racial origin, next of kin.|
|Name||Previous names, only if the information is needed to verify the applicant's past employment or education and to do a reference check.||Maiden name, "Christian" name, reference to origin of name, being related to another person by blood, marriage or adoption.|
|Languages||Ability to communicate in any language specifically required by a job.||Other languages, when not required in a specific job.|
|Photographs||In rare situations such as modelling and entertainment.||Requesting photographs (these can reveal race, gender, etc.)|
|Clubs or organizations||Membership in professional associations, clubs or organizations, hobbies or interests, as long as they are job-related.||Specific inquiries about club and organization memberships that would indicate race, colour, religious beliefs, ancestry or place of origin.|
|Age||Old enough to work legally in Alberta?||Specific age of applicants who are 18 years or older, including retirement information.|
|Height and weight||Describing job duties that require heavy lifting or other physical requirements.||Minimum/maximum height and weight requirements/stipulations.|
|Disability||Indicating the job offer is contingent upon a satisfactory job-related medical examination to determine capability to perform the duties as outlined.||General disabilities, limitations, present or previous health problems, Workers' Compensation claims or sick leave or absence due to stress or mental or physical illness.|
|Smoking||Indicating the successful applicant will be required to work in a non-smoking environment.||Asthmatic or permanent respiratory conditions that may be affected by smoke.|
|Source of Income||Job-related information such as former employment.||Inquiries unrelated to the specific job to be performed.|
|Education||Educational institutions attended; nature and level of education achieved.||Inquiries about religious or racial affiliation of educational institution.|
|Religious beliefs||Availability for shift work, travel, etc.||Inquiries about specific religious holidays observed by the applicant, customs observed, religious dress, etc.; requiring applicants to provide recommendations from a church or religious leader.|
Also see the information sheet Pre-employment inquiries.
Please note: A complaint must be made to the Alberta Human Rights Commission within one year after the alleged incident of discrimination. The one-year period starts the day after the date on which the incident occurred. For help calculating the one-year period, contact the Commission.
Due to confidentiality concerns, the Commission cannot reply to complaints of discrimination by email. Please contact the Commission by phone or regular mail if you have a specific complaint.
You can access information about making FOIP requests for records held by the Commission on our Contact us page.
The Commission will make publications available in accessible multiple formats upon request. Multiple formats provide access for people with disabilities who do not read conventional print.