Not Sure You Can Pass a Background Check? Go Work For NASA!

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Would you believe me if I told you that NASA's premier robotic exploration lab is legally barred from conducting background checks on employees? Well, believe it. Whoever even heard of getting a job these days without passing a background check? That goes for just about any job, let alone a job at a top-secret NASA research lab!

Apparently, 28 scientists and engineers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory had gotten together and sued NASA for invading their privacy. What happened is federal investigators checked out their personal information when renewing their badges. Duuudes, I mean ... You are working for NASA! Why is that surprising? Didn't they have to pass a background check as a hiring prerequisite? It's like straight out of the twilight zone!

Oh, but it gets better. The 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals had concluded that NASA should be prohibited from conducting background checks, because it violates its employees' constitutional rights! And now a federal appeals court in Los Angeles, CA has refused to hear another appeal from NASA. What on Earth is going on here? Since when is it an imposition, to expect every employee of such top-secret employer to undergo a background check?

Perhaps routine background checks are a relatively new thing to us mere mortals, but if you are a NASA-caliber physicist, you are a primary espionage target and therefore suspect, and that is nothing new, and really a given in most of our minds. What's even more mind-boggling is that the court would see it this way and prohibit NASA from conducting background checks! Well, it seems if you doubt you can pass a background check, you should go work for NASA.

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