If you receive a Statement of Reasons with intent to deny your security clearance, your mind may run amok on whether your name will be tarnished with the company trying to sponsor you… or if your name may be blacklisted with other employers if you try to apply for different jobs in the future.

A disreputable reason for denial may cause embarrassment, but one applicant was concerned that their soon to be employer would find out the reason they may be denied a security clearance. A poster on the ClearanceJobsBlog writes:

I was recently notified of a Title IX violation being filed against me for sexual assault at my college. It hasn’t gone to a hearing yet, though I am almost certain that I am guilty. Sparing intimate details, the accusation involves non-consensual touching over clothes with no intercourse. I am 19 and the complainant was 17 at the time (the age of consent where I live is 17). These things happened about a month ago over the course of a week before we decided to separate. They say they felt pressured into doing things they were uncomfortable with.

My security clearance process begins early next year for an opportunity that would greatly advance my career. Needless to say, I’m concerned. I recognize what I did as deplorable and deeply regret my actions. It was a horrible lapse of judgement, and I’m just not sure I can do much to mitigate it. I was thinking of presenting my age and strong academic record/lack of prior conduct of this nature. I am also probably going to seek counseling. However, given the recency of the incident, I’m not sure these factors will convince an investigator that the incident is not indicative of my overall character.

Any advice on the matter? Is it even worth it to continue the process, or should I look for an opportunity that doesn’t require a clearance?

TITLE IX VIOLATION UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Title IX, per the United States Department of Education, “is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities. All public and private…universities receiving any Federal funds must comply with Title IX.  Under Title IX, discrimination based on sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.”

While you may not have been arrested or convicted in a court of law, universities maintain their own investigative and grievance process for these violations. What happens next is all very dependent on what happens from the “verdict”, whether that be a specialist facilitating resolution options like mediation or restorative justice, or not. In some instances, the Office for Civil Rights conducts their own investigation.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR CLEARANCE IS DENIED

There are a few things that will happen when you are denied a security clearance, but the timeline and process may be agency specific.

However, if after your investigation you are denied adjudication, no, a facility security officer is not given the reason why you were denied. They will only see that eligibility was denied, and you would have to request that information or wait for your Statement of Reasons.

HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY

While there isn’t necessarily a question you will have to answer yes to in your scenario, we always recommend honesty if you think something will come up in the course of an investigation, or may be required. Use the comments section wisely, and consider consulting with a security clearance attorney who can advise on both your legal case and clearance eligibility. If your clearance is denied, you would be eligible to reapply after a year, and would be under no obligation to tell a future employer the cause of your prior clearance denial.

 

Much about the clearance process resembles the Pirate’s Code: “more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules.” This case-by-case system is meant to consider the whole person, increase process security, and allow the lowest-risk/highest-need candidates to complete the process. This article is intended as general information only and should not be construed as legal advice. Consult an attorney regarding your specific situation.

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Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 8+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸