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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 01/20/2011

Supreme Court rules federal contract workers must submit to background checks

By Robert Barnes

It is reasonable and proper for the federal government to perform background checks of those who work under government contracts, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

The court rejected a challenge from contract workers that their privacy rights were violated by open-ended questions about them or detailed queries about past drug use. The court said it was proper to extend to contractors the kind of background checks federal workers undergo.

"Reasonable investigations of applicants and employees aid the government in ensuring the security of its facilities and in employing a competent, reliable workforce," Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for his colleagues. He said it did not matter whether the workers were employed by the government or were contract workers.

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By Robert Barnes  | January 20, 2011; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Contracting, Supreme Court, Workplace Issues  
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