Suppose a store is considering an employee for hire when a social media review finds views that conflict with both prevailing governmental advice as well as the views of management. If the discovery of this information were to be the reason someone was declined an interview, according to Canadian law, would the declination be considered legal? If it is, would that status change if the person's religious views are what guided them to their opinion?

I am hoping to discover statutes and/or similar case law that relate to this. The closer to Alberta law, the more useful it is for me personally, but Canadian law in general would be more useful for the site at large.

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    The real question is whether he will allow his personal beliefs to interfere with the requirements of the job. (E.g. I might be strongly pro/anti-abortion, but I know that pushing that view while at work is inappropriate.) ¶ Also consider that someone might strongly oppose something in principle, but will still personally go along with it. (E.g. I might actively oppose seat-belt laws in principle (governments should tell us what not to do, not what we must do), but personally think anyone that chooses not to wear one is an idiot.) Apr 11, 2021 at 14:07
  • @RsyButterworth the pandemic adds another wrinkle, though, because a store employee is likely to have among his or her duties the enforcement of pandemic-related policies on customers and others entering the store.
    – phoog
    Apr 12, 2021 at 3:48

1 Answer 1


Discrimination in employment is legal

For example, you can discriminate to hire the more qualified or experienced candidate over less qualified ones.

What you can’t do is discriminate on the basis of a protected category:

The Alberta Human Rights Act (AHR Act) prohibits discrimination in employment based on the protected grounds of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religious beliefs, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, physical disability, mental disability, marital status, family status, source of income, and sexual orientation.

If it’s not on the list (or a proxy for something on the list), you can discriminate on it.

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    It's conceivable that some aspects of a person's views on the pandemic could stem from their religious beliefs (i.e., certain faith-healing denominations of Christianity objecting to vaccination), and thus be protected. But that's a bit of an edge case. Apr 12, 2021 at 1:55

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