In Austria it is undisputed that an employer can collect and process all the necessary work-related information to make a decision regarding the future employment of an applicant. However, the applicant’s privacy also has to be considered.
Educational checks/employment history: Employers are allowed to ask for and verify any information related to applicants’ education and personal qualifications. However, employers are not allowed to ask questions, which could be considered discriminatory, e.g. questions regarding sex, race, religion, age, ethnicity or disabilities. The applicant does not have to provide truthful answers regarding such questions and the employer can be obligated to pay penalties for asking such questions or not considering certain employees because of such information.
Media checks: In Austria an employer has the right to collect and process all information which is publicly available to him.
Criminal checks: For most employment positions prior criminal convictions preclude an applicant from being hired. Therefore, it is considered reasonable for employers to ask individuals for details on criminal convictions or to demand a current police record from an applicant.
Case law: In Austria, an employment relationship can be terminated in general without providing a reason, only termination date and notice period have to be considered. If certain criteria are met, an employee can contest such a termination.
Credit checks: For bank employees, for example, financial checks certainly are justifiable – a bad credit rating could indicate problems with handling money or a proneness to committing financial crimes.