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PIPEDA and Employee Files

PIPEDA most commonly applies to personal information that an organization collects, uses, or discloses in the course of commercial activities.

According to PIPEDA, employee files are specifically referred to as employee personal information and PIPEDA only applies if it is used or disclosed “in connection with the operation of a federal work, undertaking or business.”

In other words, if an organization is federally regulated and falls under the legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada, such as the telecommunications and broadcasting industry or is a local businesses in Yukon, Nunavut, or the Northwest Territories, then PIPEDA will apply.

If that doesn’t apply to you, you may also have a chance to access your employee personal information if you live in BC, Alberta, or Quebec, where their privacy legislation applies to all personal information collected, employee or customer related.

If your organization is a federal work, undertaking, or business, or you work in the private sector of BC, Alberta, or Quebec, write a letter to your employer requesting all personal information subject to PIPEDA. Our personal information request template can help you get started.

If you are not satisfied with the response and cannot work out the matter, you may file a complaint to the privacy commissioner’s office in the appropriate jurisdiction (BC, AB, QC, or Canada federally for PIPEDA).

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