I was just granted my Q Clearance end of October (after a 12.5 month wait) AND I have an amazing opportunity to go from a subcontractor to a full-time employee of the DOE / NNSA Lab where I’ve been for the last 17 months. Of course I accepted the offer, gave my two weeks and my contractor manager, while sorry to see me go, wished me luck and congrats and all that.
Life’s good, right?
Then a week later, the head of the contractor’s HR writes a nasty-gram that I’ve violated an agreement I signed stating I would not work for the contractor’s client for a full 180 days upon resigning. Two other contractors for the same company who’d signed the same agreements made this same conversion in the last 14 months without this happening to them. It seems they want to make some kind of example out of me. I’ve been a good employee to them for 17 months, not a single write-up or incident, I even won an award from the Lab a couple months ago.
I looked at the page I’d signed and sure enough, in paragraph 3 or whatever of the fine print, it says this. I know it doesn’t help to say this, but there were a dozen forms at the time and no, I did not peruse every detail. The contracting company has no reason to do this except to bully and coerce me to stay with them which would mean less pay, less job security and way worse benefits. What I signed says they can get “injunctive relief” in the form of a court order prohibiting me from working for the Lab for 180 days – IF they actually decide to come get me. My Lab manager thinks they don’t have the legal authority to enforce this, especially in an at-will state like CA and are putting their HR and legal department on it. I wonder if they know how big a bridge they’re burning by doing this . . .
Which leads me to my question(s) … will this bite me down the road? Can the contractor officially complain to someone at OPM and get my clearance revoked? If I’m taken to court and lose will I lose my clearance? Say in 5 years during the re-investigation, an investigator calls the contractor and they say I’m a sleazebag who violates agreements?
Sigh … and it felt so good, feeling good again too.