Previous Employer Concerns

I am an honorably discharged military officer and was employed by a DoD contractor for 10 yrs. I held a TS/SCI w CI poly. A few yrs ago, a co-worker was censured based upon my reports to upper management (as a software tester) of her/her team’s failure to produce a work product that met established standards. Fast forward a few years and this co-worker became my manager and began to actively set out to sabotage me, humiliate me and to get me fired. At this same time, a higher level supervisor told me that budget cuts and layoffs were coming yet he praised my many accomplishments for the company, which had been documented by previous supervisors in my annual reviews. After a number of months as my manager, she put me on a 30 day PIP and would not include any of my rebuttals to her accusations in the document. Based upon her recommendation and the PIP (the company’s HR Dept was in another state), I was let go. In looking for other employment, I included my security clearance level in my resume. Another DoD contractor made me a verbal offer contingent on verifying my clearance. I then learned that the day after I lost my job, my clearance had been made inactive. My previous FSO told me that my clearance should have been good for two years but obviously it wasn’t and since that time (fall of 2013), I have not worked in positions requiring a security clearance but have been concerned that negative information was reported to OPM by my previous manager. Many months after I was let go, I submitted the facts of what occurred to my previous employer’s legal dept and after some investigation, they agreed to change their records to reflect that I was separated from the company and eligible for rehire. They sent me a copy of this official change. A few months ago, I was offered a position contingent on getting an interim Secret clearance and submitted my eQIP in early Oct 2016. Since the company’s records reflect me as laid off, I did not go into the details above and did not state that I had been let go but was laid off. (I was also advised to do this by others who are familiar with the security clearance process.) I did include the name of this manager as my supervisor in the eQIP with the last contact info I had for her. If asked by an investigator, I will gladly explain the circumstances and why I felt it was appropriate to answer as I did. I have no other issues in my background that would be flagged as a problem, and as I mentioned, I’ve held a high level clearance relatively recently. Do you think my answer will pose a problem, and could this manager have reported negative information to OPM about me which would cause my interim/final security clearance to be denied? Thank you.

An adjudicator looks at the facts:

  • were you terminated from employment within the last XX years?
  • why were you terminated? (note- performance based terminations have no impact on clearance eligibility)
  • regardless of what decision was made afterwards by HR personnel, did you disclose the fact that you were terminated? (because what actually happened is more important than decisions made to change the record)

There are the things that you will face going forward, best to just be up front and honest about it, unless there was a history of this type of activity then it would not be an issue of concern.

PS: Do not rely on advice from “people familiar with the clearance process”. It is quite clear and self explanatory about what you need to disclose on the SF-86.