What happens if I take time off work?


Have TS/SCI and working full time. My clearance ‘expires’ in September 2018 so I guess I am due to start reinvestigation soon?

However, was going to take some time off work for family reasons until end of year. Normally its ok to take off up to two years with clearance before losing it, right? How about in my situation when I’m due for reinvestigation? Would I lose it?


As long your employer doesn’t get rid of you and you are still in good standing. I think this question is best asked to your FSO.


If they keep you sponsored and listed as in “access,” you will be in a better situation. If you debrief and walk out the door…and if you were not in scope when you left…you may require resubmission as an initial when you decide to return. DoD is allowing a lot of clearances to go out of scope and the GI gets out thinking they reflect clearance eligibility…not so. Had it happen frequently as of late. Supposedly it was part of reducing the backlog. I think it works against the future interest of the person having eligibility but then having eligibility exists only so one may occupy a position requiring access. It isn’t supposed to be about helping a person launch a contractor career. Not that anyone in DoD would do that (sarcasm). If you are taking a short leave of absence and the company wants you to return to the cleared position…they may carry you. It is far easier to do that then allow you to get out of scope and risk not being able to bring you back until you re-cleared.


Can my employer keep me in “access” while I’m on leave from the company? I work for a very small company so they could not float me financially. They would really be doing me a favor by keeping me associated with the company because they could not guarantee me any kind of a job after I returned from my leave of absence. The problem is my clearance will be due for reinvestigation while I’m on my leave of absence. Wouldn’t that require being actively employed by the company and working on a project?


Depending on your length of time away. I know we have carried people for 30 to 45 days, with the understanding they will return and the position they return too requires a clearance. The clearance isn’t actually yours it goes with the position requiring access. So if you leave the position, you no longer require access and should not have it. Do all companies remove your access in these cases? No. Why? Because they like having cleared employees and they know the system is clogged. I just reviewed my clearance roster and sadly I have over 20 stuck in the system for 2 plus years. All verified they are in process. Just no movement seen.


But people stay “in scope” for up to two years after leaving a cleared position and can be put in a cleared position at any time and “activate” their clearance. My challenge is that the two year window doesn’t apply to me because i will be up for my background investigation in the middle of the time i am off work and out of a cleared position and so i would not be able to start the reinvestigation and would thus lose eligibility or essentially go out of scope. Whereas, f my clearance did not go out of scope for another three years, I could quit my job and not not work for six months and then take another cleared position and i would be fine.

Does that make sense? Is any of it incorrect?


I have seen companies keep a person in “access,” if they felt you were a high performer and were returning to continue as a high performer. Others read you out on your last day and the clock is ticking. If you are away more than 2 years yes you can go out of scope but I have seen DoD clearances cross over to my client up to 5 years past the date of the last BI.


You should take a look at FMLA policies. I believe federal law says you can take 12 weeks without any fear of being laid off. It’s not 6 months but close.