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Monday, June 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

IRS Firing Was Illegal, Worker Says

BOSTON (CN) - The IRS fired a 17-year employee solely because it found out he had not registered for the draft 24 years before, and Michael Elgin claims his firing was unconstitutional. Elgin, 42, sued the U.S. Treasury Department in Federal Court, claiming 5 U.S.C. § 3328, which "forever bars men who failed to register with the Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday from employment with any Executive branch agency, constitutes a Bill of Attainder in violation of Art. 1, § 9, cl. 3 of the U.S. Constitution."

Elgin also claims 5 U.S.C. § 3328 unconstitutionally discriminates against men. He says his father kicked him out of his home when he was still in high school. He struggled to survive and to help raise a child he fathered when he was 14, and says he did not know he was supposed to register.

The IRS hired him in 1991. In investigating him for another promotion after 11 exemplary years, he says, the IRS found in 2002 that he had failed to register for the draft. It sent the news to the Office of Personnel Management, along with a letter stating that "both senators from Massachusetts have requested the IRS to issue an eligibility waiver that would allow Mr. Elgin to be retained as an employee of the IRS. The IRS joins in that request to OPM."

Nevertheless, the OPM rejected the request in February 2007, and told the IRS to fire him, which it did, in July.

Ironically, when he was fired, the son he had fathered when he was 14 was serving, or had completed, an 18-month tour of duty with the Army in Iraq.

Elgin is represented by Rodgers Powers & Schwartz. See complaint.

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