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Customs to Hire Staff Without Tests for Drugs

January 17, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Customs Service announced Friday that it is resuming its hiring of employees after a two-month delay that stemmed from the agency's unsuccessful efforts to continue an employee drug testing program.

The Customs Service "has no choice but to begin filling job vacancies vital to the enforcement of the nation's drug laws without resorting to drug testing," said a statement issued by Customs Commissioner William Von Raab.

Union Blocks Tests

The National Treasury Employees Union has gone to court and so far has successfully blocked the federal agency's drug testing program for people applying for sensitive positions, such as agents involved in drug interdiction at border points.

The Customs Service's drug testing program was announced in March, and the union filed suit in August to block it.

A federal judge in New Orleans on Nov. 12 ruled the program unconstitutional, saying it constitutes illegal and unwarranted search and seizure.

Earlier this week, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled against the government's request to reverse the earlier ruling. An appeal will be heard Feb. 4.

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