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Threatened with termination due to company mismanaging government contract Alabama

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  • Threatened with termination due to company mismanaging government contract Alabama

    I am facing a potential loss of my job due to my company not performing their due diligence on a federal government contract.
    9 months ago i was relocated to a position in another state at the request of our government customer to perform support work for them. When we originally reported for work on 1 April 2012 I was working under one contract and it was requested that i sign an NDA as well as be moved to a different management chain within the company to prevent any OCI (Organizational Conflict of Interest) issues that could arise by my making support recommendations or information that i may be privy to.
    I was shifted to a chain of command under a different Vice President at that time. In August of 2012 the company was issued a new contract by the federal government that i was funded under and no OCI issue was brought up at that time either, even though i had been in the same position doing the same job this whole time. Things were fine until early December 2012. At that time a new VP in the group i used to work in attempted to move me back under him for what he perceived as a "misaligned management relationship"
    When this happened my government customer wrote an email stating that this could cause an OCI and shouldn't happen.
    The new VP rescinded his change order and i went back to work, no issues.
    Late last night i was that i was being removed from that position due to an OCI investigation and that i only had an assured job for two weeks and at that time if it had not been resolved, then i would be placed on extended leave without pay and/or terminated. I was also told that if the investigator decided that there was indeed an OCI issue that i would most likely be terminated immediately and that there was no guarantee that another job would be found for me within the company.

    I feel that the contracts division of the company should have done their due diligence both before i took the position and relocated and then again when the new proposal was written and the new contract was issued and that they should either find me another position within the company or fix the situation somehow. It was not my responsibility to research a contract i did not even have access to, so that i could see if my job was legal or not

    I have been a loyal employee here for 8 years with outstanding reviews, was formerly a project manager before i took this position and have recieved multiple commendations over the course of my employment so there is no way they can terminate me for performance or employee issues..

    What is my recourse here if i am terminated? Is this considered wrongful termination?

  • #2
    A wrongful termination is one that violates a specific law. I'm unaware of any law that prevents an employer from terminating an employee due to an OCI issue on a government contract, even if it's essentially a self-inflicted issue. In the government contracting world, people lose jobs all the time when contracts turn over. It's the nature of the beast.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

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    • #3
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At-will

      http://employeeissues.com/wrongful_termination.htm

      You can be terminated at any time for any reason except a reason prohibited by law or unless you have a binding employment contract to the contrary.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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      • #4
        I agree that from what you wrote, I don't see a wrongful term issue. However, if this is a federal gov contract, the company very likely has a Compliance Dept or Compliance Officer that ensures compliance with the contract and any laws or regs that are applicable. I might make sense to run it by that person.

        Another concern was the period of time that you held the position and the company did not manage the conflict of interest. The company may not have been entitled to accept the federal government funds while that unmanaged conflict was in place. If they are simply firing you because of the conflict and not going back and correcting the time period that was not in compliance, there might be a false claims case. If you think that's possible, you should report it to the OIG (Office of Inspector General) of whatever federal department this falls under.

        If such concerns are brought to the compliance dept's attention, then the company will have to correct the problem and possibly self-report to the OIG. The company then may decide to become "generous" with you, to try to prevent a qui tam case.

        False claims cases with taxpayer dollars are a serious issue, and it goes way beyond employment law. The federal False Claims Act gives employees of gov contractors certain rights, and the "whistleblower" provisions provide certain protections, and give you the right to pursue a qui tam case (starting a suit on behalf of the federal government against the company, and if a false claim is proven, you'd be entitled to a portion of the monies collected via paid damages.

        You and I have no idea if any false claim happened (meaning government money was paid to a contractor which was not in compliance with the contract or the related laws and regs), but since you've been fired, you have nothing to lose by bringing it up.

        I had to jump in here, as a Compliance Officer and as a concerned taxpayer who wants all gov contractors who get my money to be in compliance. To many contractors just fire people and then never correct and repay when an overpayment has occurred.
        Last edited by TSCompliance; 01-16-2013, 12:16 PM.

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