SAO PAULO (AP) — A Brazilian labor court judge has ordered American Airlines to pay about $500,000 in damages for submitting a group of its Brazilian employees to lie detector tests.
In a statement posted Wednesday on its website, the court said Judge Joao Amilcar ruled that the use of the lie detector was illegal because it "violates the employee's fundamental right to dignity."
Amilcar said if American Airlines does not stop using the polygraph it will be fined $5,000 each time it does.
The company can appeal.
The airline said in an emailed statement it would not comment on security or personnel issues.
Amilcar said in the statement that American Airlines used the polygraph on employees or job applicants in areas considered capable of "compromising security, such as the loading and unloading cargo and the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers."
The lie detector tests "invaded their intimacy and privacy with questions regarding their hospitalization, use of alcohol and drugs, criminal records and their honesty," he added.
The judge ordered that the $500,000 in damages be paid to a charitable organization.