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Is a past Termination a disqualifier?

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  • Is a past Termination a disqualifier?

    I have a BA in CJ and have been a paramedic for 7 years now. I'm planning on putting myself through the academy next year (there is no department sponsoring here) and apply for work at a local agency. This is an agency that has E-units so they really need paramedics.

    I applied for a reserve position to get my foot in the door. I interviewed on the 5th and was sent a denial on the 7th. The interview had gone very well, they told me how much they valued my experience as a paramedic, etc. Needless to say I was surprised to receive a denial so soon. Thay haven't even finished interviews yet. While I don't pretend to be any better than anybody else, I certainly believe my training and experience are an asset to the agency. This is especially concerning to me since I hope to work for them next year.

    My record and background is clean. Last speeding ticket over 3 years ago, no criminal convictions, great financials, great references (even the sheriff of a neighboring county.) The only thing I can think of is that I was fired once over 3 years ago. I worked for one EMS agency, switched to another, was fired from that one and hired back at the original. I've had a great history since then with several promotions. The termination wasn't for anything illegal or dishonest, and the fact that I've been hired back, and promoted, at the original agency should show that I'm a reliable employee.

    In your experience is a termination on an employment history grounds for immediate disqualification? They knew my history before the interview so I'm a little confused.

    Thanks for the advice!

    (I have contaced the department for some explanation/advice but am waiting to hear back.)
    Last edited by bigeagle; 09-11-2007, 12:22 PM.
    "There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

  • #2
    It would depend on the reason for the termination - which you fail to mention. However, if you can get a letter of recommendation from your current employer, your Sheriff friend and others who can attest to your personal conduct and clean living, you may be able to reinitiate a review of your package. It is worth a try - go for it!!!
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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    • #3
      Standards will vary from agency to agency. In my department, an applicant can be DQ'ed if he:

      1. Has been dismissed from any position for any cause which would
      be a cause for dismissal from the state service, or

      2. Has resigned from any position not in good standing or in order to avoid dismissal.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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      • #4
        I'll spare you the details but the termination was over a policy violation. Policy book didn't allow for any exceptions. They would've know this before the interview though and they never even brought it up in the interveiw.

        I'm just curious if any of your agencies disqualify people for past termintations.
        "There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

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        • #5
          Terminations alone will not be a DQ. But the circumstances surrounding the termination will be closely looked at and may be grounds for DQ. I understand why you dont want to disclose the reason why you were DQ for a past termination. Heck I would not want to air my background details on an open post. Perhaps you can informally meet with a recruiter or a background investigator and tell them if you would have issues surrounding this type of termination in the past. You can always ask if you can send a private message to one of us that normally makes these kind of post replies.

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          • #6
            Termination was simply because I was scheduled for some overtime on a weekend off that I was unaware of. I obviously didn't show up so when I reported to work on Monday I was informed I no longer worked there (after finishing my 12 hour shift of course!) Policy book calls for termination after three days no-call, no-show, no exceptions. I didn't fight it because I had already been looking at returning to my previous emplyer.

            What concerns me is that my emplyment history was never even brought up as a concern in the interview so I never had a chance to explain it. Plus I don't know why they interviewed me if the termination was a disqualifier.

            It has to be something else...I'm still waiting to hear back from the department.
            "There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by bigeagle View Post
              What concerns me is that my emplyment history was never even brought up as a concern in the interview so I never had a chance to explain it. Plus I don't know why they interviewed me if the termination was a disqualifier.
              While practices will vary from agency to agency, orals are usually very structured. Oral board members are usually limited to asking and evaluating applicants based on their answers to a fixed set of questions. Generally speaking, they are not allowed to venture into, or score you in other areas because to do so would be judging you based on one set of criteria that is not being applied to all applicants (i.e., a discriminatory practice).

              Any DQ on background should have come from a separate level of review, by someone else, after the oral. With this in mind, it is highly unlikely that the oral board members would have discussed any negative background issues with you as doing so would have been outside their area of consideration and inappropriate.

              Is it possible that instead of being DQed on your background, that you simply didn't score high enough on the oral?
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                Is it possible that instead of being DQed on your background, that you simply didn't score high enough on the oral?

                Of course it's possible that they simply weren't impressed with my interview. I'd be surprised if that's the reason though. The interview went great and they seemed thrilled to have a paramedic inteviewing for the position.

                That's why I'm asking on here if a past termination may be a disqualifier.
                "There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

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                • #9
                  Side question-- You have been a paramedic for 7 years, and about 3 years ago you got a speeding ticket?

                  Why did you get the ticket? How fast were you going? Paramedics are high up on the list for me when it comes to professional courtesy. Ive never written one and I probably never will. Did you tell the officer you were a paramedic? Just wondering why you didnt get any PC?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I got the ticket out of state. There was nothing on me to show that I was a paramedic (no uniform jacket in the back seat, etc.) I've never felt comfortable just telling a cop I'm a paramedic hoping for some PC.
                    "There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      On the topic of Termination as a DQ...I was curious if a Termination under a probationary status is considered an auto DQ?? Worked at a State Prison and 2 months into it they terminated me for "performance" saying i did not fit "the mold of a corrections officer." Will that hurt me or come up in background if I apply for another State Jobs? Do I even need to/should I bother putting it down as past work experience/job on a new application? I have a a B.A. in Socy/CJ as well...so i would be interested in maybe probation/parole (at least something that actually requires a college degree)
                      Last edited by AllBoutButchz; 09-16-2007, 03:17 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AllBoutButchz View Post
                        On the topic of Termination as a DQ...I was curious if a Termination under a probationary status is considered an auto DQ?? Worked at a State Prison and 2 months into it they terminated me for "performance" saying i did not fit "the mold of a corrections officer." Will that hurt me or come up in background if I apply for another State Jobs? Do I even need to/should I bother putting it down as past work experience/job on a new application? I have a a B.A. in Socy/CJ as well...so i would be interested in maybe probation/parole (at least something that actually requires a college degree)
                        Will it hurt you or DQ you in future jobs? It's going to depend on what your rejection was based on. "Doesn't fit the mold of a corrections officer" is too vague a statement to be meaningful. Its just going to depend on what's documented in your performance evaluations.

                        Do you need to list it on future applications? You bet! As part of the hiring process for any new law enforcement employer you will be asked to disclose past employers, whether you have ever been terminated for cause, or rejected from probation and whether you have ever applied for other law enforcement positions. You will be also be fingerprinted. When your new, prospective employer gets your rap sheet back, they will see all the other places where you were fingerprinted as part of those agencies' application processes. If they start seeing places that you omitted, you will be bounced from the process for falsifying your background package. Such conduct suggests a lack of honesty on your part and getting caught doing this can make it difficult, if not impossible to pass a background investigations with any agency in the future. In short, no one wants to hire someone in law enforcement who blatantly lies.
                        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I had a dismissal on my record that was later overturned. I wasn't even asked about it until my background packet and then I provided all of the documentation I had and a full page story of what happened.

                          It was never an issue. But it depends on the circumstances and how long ago it happened. Be honest and admit your faults if there were any. Focus on what you have learned out of the experience.
                          "Get this and get it straight! Crime is a sucker's road and those who travel it wind up in the gutter, the prison, or the grave. There's no other end. They never learn."

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