AIRPORT EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECKS



...are becoming more intense. Airport employee background checks are subject to stricter guidelines.


Potential airport employees should know how it will effect them.


Congress is putting into place procedures to guarantee in depth worker scrutiny.


If you want to work for an airport in the US you will have to pass an FBI and police background check and employment background screening.


A perceived...

employee right in a background check

... may conflict with your privacy expectations.


There is also discussion in Congress to require routine searches of employees’ bags and other property. Biometric readers and the use of microchip implants of airport workers are now very real possibilities. What does biometric and microchip mean? Biometric comes from the Greek word “Bios-life” and “Metron-to measure”.





A biometric reader is an automated method of verifying or recognizing the identity of someone based on his or her physical or behavioral uniqueness. A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. It has a silicon computer chip, antenna and transmits information when triggered by a biometric reader.


Hello, I’m Yancey and I remember in 1998 reading a book that talked about retinal scanners and chip implants one day becoming a reality. Well unfortunately, that day is here. I believe more aggressive airport employee background checks on airport personnel will erode their privacy rights.


airport employee background checks



Two Orlando based airline workers were charged with carrying 14 guns onto a Comair flight. This prompted Congress to seek screening airport employees the same as passengers.


The Transportation Security Administration is increasing employment background screening nationwide.


Indications are that airport employees and screeners can expect more random screens by Transportation Safety Administration


officers. Because of the problems it’s had, the Orlando International Airport reportedly plans to spend 5 million dollars for a permanent employee screening program.


However, airports and airlines are not pleased that Congress intends to have more in depth employee screening background checks. It has been reported that teams of air marshals and inspectors at various airports will be searching employees and checking airplane cabins.


Airport employee background checks have primarily been focused on screeners of passengers. There is concern that baggage handlers, mechanics, fuel specialists and other employees aren't obliged to the same checks as flight personnel and passengers.


airport employee background checks


Low pay potentially making some workers prone to being bribed

...is cited as one of the justifications for checking the backgrounds of airport screeners and other employees. Obviously the issue of international terrorism has been the driving force in the increased scrutiny of airport employees.




A security background check

will be mandatory if a government security clearance is required. Some in Congress are insisting on screening all employees at airports. However, airport officials insist that screening all employees would cost many millions and make lines of security even longer for tired passengers. Employees go through different stages of background checks in various areas of an airport. Some officials are concerned that failing to check all workers daily is a flaw in airport security.


The Transportation Safety Administration believes that its random screening is effective in providing airport security. Background checks of employees are legal. Nonetheless, Legal advocates and unions are challenging what they believe are illegal abuses in how companies use data they receive. There is particular concern when that information comes from the FBI.


Congress has given airlines access to the FBI’s criminal history database to enforce a law designed to protect secured areas in airports. Employees are prohibited from these areas if they have been convicted in the past ten years of any of the following "special offenses".


airport employee background checks


Permanent disqualifying crimes
  1. Espionage or conspiracy to commit
  2. Sedition or cospiracy to commit
  3. Treason or conspiracy to commit
  4. A federal crime of terrorism or comparable state law
  5. A crime involving TSI (Transportation security incident), a security incident resulting in significant loss of life, environmental damage,transportation system disruption, or economic disruption in a particular area
  6. Improper transportation of a hazardous material
  7. Unlawful possession,use,sale,distribution,manufacture,purchase or dealing in an explosive or explosive device
  8. Murder
  9. Threat or maliciously conveying false information knowing the same to be false,concerning the deliverance,placement,or detonation of an explosive or other lethal device in or against a place of public use, state or government facility, a public transportation system, or an infrastructure facility
  10. Certain RICO (Racketeering influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act violations where one of the predicate acts consists of one the permanent disqualifying crimes
  11. Attempt to commit the crimes in items 1-4
  12. Conspiracy or attempt to commit the crimes in items 5-10
  13. Convictions for 1-4 are not eligible for a waiver.


airport employee background checks


If you are or have been found guilty by reason of insanity within the last seven years, you are disqualified from holding an HME (hazardous materials endorsement) on a state issued CDL (commercial drivers license). Simply put you will not be able drive or transport hazardous materials. You are also disqualified if you have been released from prison in the last five years for any of the following crimes:
  • Unlawful entry into a seaport
  • assault with intent to murder
  • kidnapping or hostage taking
  • rape or aggravated sexual abuse
  • Unlawful possession,use,sale,manufacture,purchase,
    distribution,receipt,transfer,shipping,transporting,delivery,import,export of,or dealing in a firearm or other weapon
  • extortion
  • dishonesty,fraud,or misrepresentation,including identity fraud
  • bribery
  • smuggling
  • immigration violations
  • violations of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) or comparable State law, other than any permanent disqualifying offenses
  • robbery
  • distribution of,intent to distribute,or importation of a controlled substance
  • arson
  • conspiracy or attempt to commit any of these crimes

airport employee background checks


Debate is raging over workers with criminal records having an opportunity to show they aren’t security risks before being terminated. This however may be quite difficult to prove, if they are guilty of the "special offenses" Congress has decided should disqualify them.


For the most part, unions look at the terms in the new law that requires the FBI data only be used to establish security access.


Some airlines officials and pilots associations have stated the new guidelines were lacking in basic due process safe guards for the employees. Several airline unions have suits pending, seeking to prevent FBI information being used for anything other than aforementioned security access.


It’s been reported that a provision to provide collective bargaining rights to thousands of federal airport screeners has been stripped from major homeland security legislation.


The National Treasury Employees Union and the American Federation of Government Employees have criticized this as anti-union bias.


“It is disappointing in the extreme to see the lengths to which this administration and some republican members of the Senate will go in order to deny basic workplace rights to a large group of federal employees who not only deserve but need them”, said NTEU President Colleen Kelley.


airport employee background checks


It seems clear to me that anyone who is employed by or seeks to work for an airline or airport is going to face many challenges.


Airport employee background checks appears destined to be an area where employees will have a tougher time maintaining rights of privacy.

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