Employment applications

Information requested on job application forms and in job interviews must be relevant to an applicant's ability to do a job. In some cases, certain information requested on forms and in interviews could intentionally or inadvertently be used by an employer to discriminate against individuals or certain groups of people and restrict or refuse employment. The Alberta Human Rights Act prohibits employers from discrimination in the area of employment applications and advertisements and in the making of written or oral inquiries of applicants unless it is for a business purpose that is acceptable under the Act.

Questions or inquiries that are job-related are acceptable. They help an employer to discover the extent of an applicant's skills, knowledge and ability to perform the job. Questions that may require an applicant to furnish information related to a protected ground or that express a limitation or preference based on a protected ground are not advisable. You can read more about the protected grounds.

For example, it is acceptable to ask if an applicant is legally entitled to work in Canada.  However, it would not be advisable to ask an applicant where he or she was born. 

For more information, see the Commission's information sheets Pre-employment inquiries and A recommended guide for pre-employment inquiries.

Revised: December 16, 2009


The Alberta Human Rights Commission is an independent commission of the Government of Alberta.

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