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  1. #1
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    Dec 2009
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    Default Federal Contractors and Detrimental Reliance

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: New Mexico

    I was given a contingent job offer with a relocation bonus to work for a federal contractor. The contingency is that I obtain and continue to have a security clearance. I filled out the security forms in a major rush (because they wanted to hire me quickly) and accidentally forgot to add in a few details. I emailed the company to let them know and they passed the information on. I was given interim secret and right as I was supposed to move when the government investigators wanted me to resubmit my forms. By this time I had submitted my two-weeks notice to my old company. The new company gave me the overall feeling that the resubmit of the forms would be quick and I would have my interim back. Unfortunately this is not the case and I am still in the middle of said investigation. The new company has filled the position I was was promised (and had signed for via the contingent offer) and has refused to disburse my relocation funds - causing me to have a rather large bill for breaking the lease with my apartment complex (this was to be paid with the relocation funds).

    The new company has said there would be an opening possibly in the future but have done nothing for me for the current situation I am in because of them.

    I have emails containing the job offer, the relocation offer, and an email saying that the relocation check would be disbursed at a certain date. For the most part I have done everything they have asked but am stuck without a job and a sizable debt to an apartment complex, not to mention I have lost wages because I quit my old job (at their request I might add). Do I have a case for detrimental reliance?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: Federal Contractors and Detrimental Reliance

    The offer was contingent on the security clearance, you didn't complete the forms in their entirety, so you didn't get the full clearance you needed in the time they needed you to. And you knew the company wanted you to start quickly; that appeared to be your downfall. You can contact an attorney regarding detrimental reliance, but I wouldn't be optimistic.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Federal Contractors and Detrimental Reliance

    I filled out the security forms in a major rush (because they wanted to hire me quickly) and accidentally forgot to add in a few details.

    And this is their fault because....?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Federal Contractors and Detrimental Reliance

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    I filled out the security forms in a major rush (because they wanted to hire me quickly) and accidentally forgot to add in a few details.

    And this is their fault because....?
    I submitted the details immediately and complied with everything. Just because I'm in the middle of said investigation doesn't give a company the right to completely disown me. As I am in the middle of it all and have not been given a final denial the company should take some responsibility for making me quit my old job.

    EDIT: I will add that the company gave me time tables of 24 to 48 hours for my interim clearance to be returned after re-submitting my forms. This is why it's their fault.

    Quote Quoting PattyPA
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    The offer was contingent on the security clearance, you didn't complete the forms in their entirety, so you didn't get the full clearance you needed in the time they needed you to. And you knew the company wanted you to start quickly; that appeared to be your downfall. You can contact an attorney regarding detrimental reliance, but I wouldn't be optimistic.
    On the same day I was promised the relocation funds they were taken away due to having to resubmit the forms. The company advised me that resubmittion would be quick and so I did not rescind my resignation from my old job. I admit I was foolish for rushing a form however I feel it to be a bit of betrayal to completely disown me and my problems even though I followed their instructions.

    I should also add the neither the job offer nor the relocation offer contained terms about my relocation funds being contingent on my clearance.

    Thank you for helping me pinpoint my arguments. I will be contacting an attorney soon.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Federal Contractors and Detrimental Reliance

    Just because I'm in the middle of said investigation doesn't give a company the right to completely disown me.

    Why not? YOU are the one who didn't fill the paperwork out correctly the first time. Just because you made the corrections promptly does NOT mean that the employer is prohibited from excluding you from consideration or rescinding the offer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Location
    California
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    Default Re: Federal Contractors and Detrimental Reliance

    Perhaps you are new to the Security Clearance arena and/or didn't read the instructions. Leaving out details can give you a rejection out-of-hand. Submitting an email to the company attempting to change what you put on the government form is really without effect. Since they have opened an investigation, there is a possibility that at some time they will issue you a clearance. The request to resubmit the forms is actually a good sign. But, quite honestly, they are more inclined to believe that you intentionally falsified the initial questionnaire and attempted to submit a correction when you later thought about it, then that you just made an understandable error.

    Last I heard, investigations were running between 6 and 18 months. If they ultimately decide against you, it could prevent you permanently from receiving a Security Clearance which could also affect other job opportunities. Also, the company withdrawing the offer would, in many cases, halt the clearance process meaning the issue could be left unresolved unless another company sponsors you for a clearance in the future.

    I would never advise someone NOT to see an attorney if they feel they have a situation that requires an attorney's assistance. While I can sympathize with your situation, it is a situation of your own making. Taking legal action against the company would most likely remove them as a possible future employer. I would advise against doing that unless you feel you have a very high probability of winning. I think you'd have a better chance of winning a lottery, and while what I think doesn't really matter - you should think it through carefully, avoiding the "shoot from the hip" approach that you took on the security questionairre.

    I recommend: (1) Continue to work with this company to keep the investigation active to continue it to a resolution so you know where you stand. (2) Focus your efforts on finding another job which does not require a Security Clearance. (3) If, and when, you get a favorable resolution, you could again pursue postitions requiring a Security Clearance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default Re: Federal Contractors and Detrimental Reliance

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    Just because I'm in the middle of said investigation doesn't give a company the right to completely disown me.

    Why not?
    I signed a contract. It is not null and void simply because I had to resubmit paperwork. The business world would crumble if you weren't allowed to make edits. People make mistakes. Doesn't allow the contractor to punish the contracted and get away with it.

    Quote Quoting Scott67
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    I recommend: (1) Continue to work with this company to keep the investigation active to continue it to a resolution so you know where you stand. (2) Focus your efforts on finding another job which does not require a Security Clearance. (3) If, and when, you get a favorable resolution, you could again pursue postitions requiring a Security Clearance.
    Best advice I've heard - rather than immediately blaming me like the previous posters you instead explain and offer possible solutions. I've already posted numerous resumes and am even looking to go back into school to get my Master's degree.

    I'm expecting my clearance to pass (spotless record, etc). I will be meeting with an investigator early next month for my interview to go through the forms. It shouldn't take long to adjudicate afterward. It won't be hard to find a job after that thankfully.

  8. #8
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    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Federal Contractors and Detrimental Reliance

    A contingent offer is not a contract.

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