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Getting a job with a record

Can employers find out about my record?

Most employers, except some government agencies, can't get information about your youth record directly from the police without your permission.

But in some communities, employers still find out. For example, they might talk to someone who knows you. This could happen even though news reports can't give your name.

They might ask if you have a youth record

If you don't answer, an employer might think that you have something to hide.

But the law says that you can't tell anyone that you're involved in the youth criminal justice system while your record is open.

You should think about how to answer a question about your youth record.

They can ask for a criminal background check

Criminal background check is a general term that people use, including employers. But there are actually 3 types of criminal background checks:

While your record is open, all 3 types of checks will show information about your youth record. When it's time to close your record, this information should be removed.

A criminal background check will show that you have a "clear" record if you had a youth record and it's been closed or if you never had a youth record.

You can refuse to have any type of criminal background check done. But an employer can insist that you do. They might even offer you a job or volunteer position only if you can prove that you have a "clear" record.

Sharing your youth record

You can share a "clear" record with an employer.

But, because of special rules about who can see youth records, it's against the law for you to share information about your open youth record with an employer. This makes it difficult to get a job if an employer asks for a criminal background check.

The law is less clear about whether you can share your youth record after you turn 18. You should ask your lawyer if you have questions about sharing your record.

Criminal record checks

You can get a criminal record check by going to the police station, filling out a form, and paying a fee. So an employer who can't get the criminal background check directly from the police might ask you to go to the police station and get it.

Police record checks and vulnerable sector checks

You can't usually get a police record check or a vulnerable sector check by just asking for it. An employer or volunteer organization usually has to make a request to the police and you have to give your permission.

There is more information in these checks than in a criminal record check. You should ask your lawyer about what might show up on these checks.

(Reviewed August 2015)