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Lost security clearance ends chance to sue for bias

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in Firing,Human Resources

Some jobs, both in government and in the private sector, require a security clearance from a government agency. Without the proper security clearance, employees aren’t allowed to view sensitive documents.

In those cases, a lost security clearance can mean a lost job—with no ability to challenge the termination on discrimination grounds.

Recent case: Brian, who is over age 40, worked as an attorney for the U.S. Navy. His job required a security clearance. When Brian lost his clearance, his employer terminated him because he could no longer do the job.

He sued, alleging he had really been fired because of his age.

But the court said it couldn’t interfere with the security clearance process. If a clearance was required for the job, Brian couldn’t challenge his employer’s decision to terminate him. (Drazich v. Mabus, No. 5:13-cv-03931, ND CA, 2014)

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