SW Legal studies in Business

Loss of Security Clearance Proper Grounds for Loss of Employment
Description

Appeals court held that a government employee who sued for discrimination based on his religion and national origin had no suit as the reason for his loss of employment was the loss of his security clearance, a necessary condition of continued employment.

Topic Employment Discrimination
Key Words

Religion; National Origin; Security Clearance

C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts

Makky, a Muslim, was born in Egypt and worked in the U.S. An expert on explosives, he worked for the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA). In 1987 he was granted “secret” level security clearance. In 1996, the clearance was upgraded to “top secret.” At that time, he notified the government that he was a dual citizen, also holding Egyptian citizenship. The quality of his work was excellent. In 2003, the TSA began to review his security clearance. His clearance was revoked because of his failure to disclose foreign relatives and foreign associates. The loss of his clearance meant suspension without pay. Makky appealed, but the administrative judge upheld the TSA decision. He sued for discrimination based on religion and national origin. The trial court held for the TSA. Makky appealed.

Decision

Affirmed. Makky failed to establish a prima facie case of employment discrimination given the evidence that he no longer possessed a security clearance as required for his position. The TSA had the right to suspend Makky since he lacked a clearance. He was given the reason for the loss of his clearance, which is all that is required in such instances.

Citation Makky v. Chertoff, 541 F.3d (3rd Cir., 2008)

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