Matters of employment can be tricky, especially when a security clearance is involved. When a difficult employment situation arises, or you have concerns that it might, it’s beneficial to have an employment law or clearance lawyer on your side who can advise you of what you should (or shouldn’t!) do.

Employment lawyers and clearance lawyers have a wealth of knowledge and can help you navigate situations as they arise, or even help you keep problems from happening in the first place. Getting an expert on your side helps you increase the odds of a successful outcome. But how do you know which professional to call?

When to call an employment lawyer

Employment lawyers are your go-to attorneys for matters of, you guessed it, employment. They’re experts in wage disputes, workplace safety/OSHA issues, and worker’s compensation. They also deal with employment issues involving workplace discrimination or wrongful termination.

Employment lawyers work with you to make sure you’ve taken the appropriate internal avenues to resolve your issues. They can review the employee handbook and make sure you’ve followed the steps inside. They’re also experts in the Fair Labor Standards Act, and they can check to make sure your employer hasn’t violated any laws. After helping you determine what your rights are, they can guide you through the next steps. Those steps could include anything from taking further action within your company to filing suit against your employer.

When to call a security clearance lawyer

While employment lawyers can help you with a number of issues you might face during employment, your security clearance isn’t one of them. Security clearance law is a niche subject. If you’re facing any issues regarding your security clearance, it’s far better to have an expert in the field rather than an attorney who is a generalist or even a workplace attorney.

Security clearance lawyers can help you with suitability denials, both in helping you understand why you were denied and what steps you can take in the future. They can also advise you while you’re completing your SF-86, giving you wording to use when you’re not certain and helping you decide what you need to divulge.

If you forgot to list something on your SF-86 but it hasn’t been discovered yet, a security clearance lawyer can help you make the corrections and frame your statement, providing important “whole person” context for your investigator.

In short, a security clearance lawyer can provide you with valuable guidance before, during, or after you’ve submitted your SF-86.

When you’re ready to call an attorney to help you with whatever you’re facing, make sure you call one who specializes in the correct area. Find a security clearance lawyer or an employment lawyer, whichever is appropriate, and be honest with them about what happened and how they can help you. It never hurts to have an expert on your side.


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Brynn Mahnke is a freelance writer specializing in researching, writing, and ghostwriting for clients in the career, finance, SaaS, and B2B/B2C niches. She focuses on writing case studies, whitepapers, ebooks, and articles showcasing the value her clients bring to their customers. When she isn't writing, you can find her running, cycling, or wrangling children. She can be reached through her website or at