Employment Lie Detector Tests

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What is a Lie Detector Test?

A lie detector can include a polygraph, deceptograph, voice stress analyzer, psychological stress evaluator, or any other similar device. These devices are used to render an opinion regarding the honesty or dishonesty of an individual. A "lie detector" does not include tests used to determine the presence of controlled substances or alcohol in bodily fluids.

May an Employer Use a Lie Detector to Determine the Honesty of a Job Applicant?

Under the federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA), an employer is prohibited from requiring employees or applicants to take a polygraph test. This covers private sector employers with at least two employees engaged in interstate commerce activities and an annual volume of business of at least $500,000 (commercial businesses). However, it does not apply to public sector employers.

What are the Key Provisions of the EPPA?

There are certain provisions of the EPPA that employers and employees should keep in mind:

How Does the EPPA affect Businesses?

There are a number of ways that the EPPA affects businesses, including:

Are there Exceptions to the EPPA?

The EPPA creates an exception for two situations. These include:

Most states have laws prohibiting or regulating the use of polygraph tests for employment purposes. Some states prohibit all such tests and devices. In addition to the exemptions above, some commercial businesses are exempt if they are:

Do I Need an Experienced Employment Law Attorney?

A lawyer experienced with employment law may be able to guide you to and through the EPPA. He/she may be able to inform you of your rights as a prospective or current employee.

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Last Modified: 04-05-2013 02:55 PM PDT

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