Obtaining Security Clearance

Job Abandonment and Clearance Eligibility

Employees who have a history of quitting or walking off the job without notice may find obtaining security clearance eligibility a challenge. Why? Because it shows the employee is unreliable, has poor judgment, and is not trustworthy, all elements in the adjudicative guidelines under personal conduct. A recent Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Hearing and Appeals case highlighted exactly this. Here is the applicant’s employment history between August 2021 to February 2023:

  • Counseled by employer for being late multiple times and eventually resigned.
  • Terminated from employment for being late to work and then altering his timecard to hide the fact he was late.
  • Failed to show up to an internship for three weeks with no notice or communication with the employer. He also failed to list being terminated from this employment on his SF-86.
  • Quit employment from another job without giving two weeks’ notice to take another job offer. He also failed to list this employment on his SF-86.
  • Started a graduate study program at a college in August 2022 and dropped out by October 2022.

During multiple interviews with the background investigator, the applicant was evasive and backtracked on the circumstance that led employment terminations. His explanations lacked credibility and the fact that he provided false information on the SF-86 was the nail in the coffin. The DOE appeals judge concluded the applicant was not truthful or forthcoming and did not resolve the personal conduct concerns – eligibility denied.