A potential client contacted us with a very frustrating problem. He was a retired disabled veteran looking to get a federal job. He received an offer letter, but could not be placed until his clearance came through. His clearance ended up being lost in “limbo” and the job offer was revoked. He was angry and sought to sue the government for discriminating against him. Our answer:
Unfortunately, however, you are in a bit of a pickle. The government designates certain positions as requiring a clearance. The level of clearance, and the nature of the clearance, are strictly up to the government. However, your ability to pass a background investigation is always a contingency requirement of employment in such a cleared position. The Service cannot control whether you pass or do not pass your background investigation. Their termination of your job offer is entirely in line with both the law and precedent. You won’t get any traction there. Quite literally the Service has no control on your clearance process, and has no choice but to let you go when you can’t get a clearance.
You have a little more clout with the clearance process itself. There is a vehicle to appeal a denial, or seek information on the status of your clearance, and that would be the first area you should concentrate on. However, working with DOHA — Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals – is a tricky and complicated process. They handle all DOD related security matters – including those such as yours which usually end up with a SOR – Statement of Reasons – for why they are not moving forward.
You could petition DOHA for a review of your clearance, and if approved, re-apply for the position. However, that is the only legal avenue you have open in this case. Additionally, such an appeal may be denied outright, as you no longer have a reason to hold a clearance, and such appeals are expensive – starting at around $4500.
We have considerable experience with EEO cases — and also with clearance cases! Do you have questions about Directive 5220.6, Guidelines/Mitigation factors, or Statement of Reasons? We can help! Don’t be caught without a lawyer where you job, and credibility, are on the line. Call us immediately at 1-800-579-9864.