Alberta's Statutory Privacy Regime and its Impact on the Workplace


  • Sandra M Anderson Partner, Field LLP Edmonton, Alberta



The author describes the tension created by the new privacy legislation between the individual values of personal privacy and the common values of the workplace. There is a detailed discussion of the respective obligations of employers and employees to protect and make accessible personal records held by the employer. The article focuses on various types of employee information, including health information, and discusses in what circumstances they can be disclosed to an employer. Next, the developing impact of the privacy statutes on labour law is surveyed, specifically the rights of unions to obtain employees' personal information. Then the author examines the extent of employee personal information the employer is entitled to have and in what circumstances by surveying three controversial areas: video and other surveillance, drug and alcohol testing and electronic monitoring in the workplace. She concludes that privacy legislation is having a major impact on rights and relationships between employers and employees.