SF-85 Section 12 Employment Record problem

Hello everyone, I am wondering on section 12 regarding Employment Record, I am going to have to answer 4 - “Left a job by mutual agreement following allegations of unsatisfactory performance” to the question “Has any of the following happened to you in the last 7 years?” . The allegations were not true, that is a long story. Other than this, I am lucky that I think I’m ok on all the other sections. Does anyone have any experience with this kind of situation? Would this be enough by itself to get denied?

Thanks in advance for any help!

This is fairly common. The investigator will send off for employment verification. Often these are answered by the employer with little to no detail. My advice is when you answer the question, provide a very detailed unemotional response. Often these becomes their word against yours and the more detail you provide the easier for the adjudicator to make a decision.


The important aspect is acknowledging it happened as the investigator will uncover it. Speaking to it demonstrates honesty and integrity. I concur with Ken on presenting it unemotional, straightforward and that you dispute how it was handled. These situations are usually fraught with emotion, and those attempting to hide bad behavior do not come off credible.

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I wouldn’t put much thought into it. I had a previous employer said I was not rehirable though I left amicably and never had any issues. I didn’t know this until years later when I did a FOIA request. It didn’t play into the ultimate decision.

Ok great thank you. That is encouraging. Do you happen to know what the name or number of the form is that they send to the employer? I would like to take a look at it. Is it possible that they send these to the HR department, or does it always go to the supervisor?

They don’t have a form. Investigators will either call The Work Number which companies use to outsource HR information or try to talk to the relevant HR person in phone or in person. It centers around does your personal info match what’s in the companies files, are you rehireable, what was your job title optionally what was your pay when you left, can you be trusted, and finally were there any disciplinary issues. Then they will go talk to your former manager or coworkers you provided if they are still there. Those people will provide “collateral” information to back up background information about you as the investigators tie everyone’s inputs together. Aka CompSci36 says he left for XYZ employer and is that public knowledge. Is he susceptible to blackmail or coercion. Can he be trusted etc. What does CompSci36 do in his spare time? Maybe that leads to other areas if new info is found. If everyone more or less says the same thing then the investigators don’t have to go digging much further

There are many companies who will not rehire former employees so everyone that no longer works there is reported as “not rehireable”. It doesn’t mean anything. Investigators and adjudicators understand that some companies attempt to terminate employees “for cause” by reporting that their work was substandard or lots of other reasons. Sometimes this gets them past union laws, or state employment laws or even prevents them from having to contribute to unemployment for the employee. It really doesn’t mean much but, as noted above, it will be better coming from you.


I had something similar - let go due to “financial reasons of the company” they couldn’t afford to keep me on so let me go with the promise of a 3 week severance. Then after I left accused me of deleting emails, (a) that never existed to begin with and (b) that 4 other people had access to and could have deleted if they did. The allegations were a way to not pay my severance. When I dropped the pursuit of severance they dropped the allegations of deleting the emails and we’re on good terms again. But…

Following up on the above, in my 2nd interview the investigator had a printout of my history at that employer, and it listed a false job title for most of my time there.

During the time I worked there my title was something like “Developer III”. Near the end of my time there, they finally got around to implementing a big overhaul of the job titles, categories and pay scales, and reclassified mine to (say) “Analyst II”. This was to go into effect the month I left, or the month after.

But on this printout, they had listed my record there with the new title, during the whole previous time while in reality I had always had the old title. They had retroactively changed titles on my employment prior to the reclassification!

I explained this to the investigator. (It seems very questionable on the part of the employer and in my opinion ought to be illegal.) I still have the original offer letter showing the old job title.

Anyway the investigator said it was not necessarily a problem and they would pull my personnel file.

If they seriously look into titles many of us will be screwed . . . I don’t know what my title is right NOW much less at previous jobs. I once had three or four titles in 18 months and my job description never changed.

“Developer” to “analyst” shouldn’t be any issue at all. On the other hand if your application said that you were “Executive Vice President of Production and Development” and the company told the investigator that you were a “Junior Janitorial Worker” you would have an issue.


It’s not a problem. It’s just a clarification. Were required to ask about it.

The only time I’ve ever seen the title be an issue was for folks applying for federal positions and the titles were cleary inflated… such as claiming to be a Program Manager when you were a technician or assistant Team Lead.

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