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Washington Metro sues union over employee background checks

Metrorail is the subway system in the D.C. area. (WTOP/Amanda Iacone)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington’s Metro is suing to stop its union from challenging criminal background screenings of rail and bus workers, which are scheduled to take effect next month.

WRC-TV reports the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority filed a lawsuit against the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 on Friday, ahead of a scheduled June 19 arbitration hearing.

Metro wants a federal judge to intervene and stop the arbitration hearing, arguing it has sole discretion over hiring and firing.

The union has said that the expansion of the background check system will include random screenings of workers. Union President Jackie Jeter says Metro had previously made a concerted effort to hire people with criminal records, who could now be impacted by the new system.

A Metro spokesman declined to comment on the pending litigation.

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Information from: WRC-TV, http://nbcwashington.com

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