NASAs Background Checks Deemed Okay

Posted by Kristina Taylor
January 27, 2011

NASAs Background Checks Deemed Okay

Contract workers for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently put up a very vocal fight against the background checks performed by their government employer.  The contract workers for NASA stated that they felt that the background screening methods they were expected to to undergo in order to work for NASA were too intrusive and a violation of their privacy rights.


The U.S. Supreme Court felt otherwise.


In an eight-to-zero decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of NASA, stating they had the power to ask contract workers information (including that related to illegal drug use and professional counseling.)


In the words of Justice Alito:  the background checks were “reasonable, employment-related inquiries…  The government’s interests as employer and proprietor in managing its internal operations… satisfy any [privacy issues]…”


Over 70,000 contract workers have been through the background checks per NASA’s request in the past five years; less than one-fifth of one percent have been turned down for employment as a result of background screening.


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