Mar 8, 2023  By John Hyde

CBC staff shocked to discover confidential religion, sexual orientation details in online HR files

OTTAWA — Some CBC employees say they felt "surprised" and "betrayed" after sensitive private information, including their sexual orientation, gender identity and religion, suddenly appeared in their online human resources profiles last week after they had provided it in a "confidential" diversity survey.

Last year, CBC/Radio-Canada repeatedly sent out invitations to staff to complete a voluntary "cultural census" as part of its equity, diversity and inclusion program. Several CBC and Radio-Canada employees who spoke to National Post said they and their colleagues were stunned to discover this week that information was now part of their HR profile on Workday, the online human resources platform the CBC newly adopted.

Labour and employment lawyer John Hyde calls it a "travesty." 

"Employees have not only an expectation of privacy, they have an absolute right to privacy. There are some exceptions (in privacy laws), but this is not one of them," said Hyde, partner at Toronto-based firm Hyde Law. 

"I think it’s a misuse of data," he added.

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