Security Clearance

Security Clearance. A death knell for any mentally ill person seeking a job requiring one.

How many good jobs have I had to pass over because I can’t obtain and maintain a security clearance? Several. I just passed another one today. It eliminates any job related to the Department of Defense (DoD) and many Department of Energy (DOE) jobs which are places I could find work. Eliminate Boeing, Lockheed Martin, or any of the other companies with big DoD research projects. Reject some of the government labs, like Sandia or Los Alamos National Lab. I can’t even work in a simple position if it has anything to do with defense.

The mentally ill do have stability issues and are a security risk for projects requiring high level security clearances. I understand that. I’m just frustrated is all. Frustrated that I was born with this genetic pre-disposition that blossomed into something that taxes me daily.  Frustrated that on top of all that it limits my employability.  Even if I had never been diagnosed, it would probably come out in the mental health exams.  It’s a necessary discrimination.

But what would happen if companies found a loophole such that they could discriminate against you legally?  Disability discrimination cases are rarely won.  If I had told my last employer about my bipolar, I probably would have been out of a job sooner than now.  As it is, given that my FMLA ran out and they couldn’t find a place for me that I was qualified for when I returned, it’s nearly disability discrimination. I was discriminated against by my co-workers while my arm was injured, but I didn’t know that there was a statue of limitations on disability claims.  At this point, I have no legal recourse; I was told as much by a lawyer.  I was laid off from a previous job because of health reasons (I was recovering from a severe mania) and sued them unsuccessfully.  Oh yes, companies are tricky, and if they can get away with it, they will.  It’s why they employ such expensive lawyers.

But I digress.  My point was simply to express my frustration in the job hunt.  A job hunt that is already difficult enough with my background and education level, soon to be made more difficult by my age. It’s discouraging to be disqualified for jobs because of my mental health.


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