Polygraphs and Lie Detector Tests

The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 places stringent regulations on employers’ use of polygraphs, extremely limiting their usefulness. Federal law greatly restricts the use of lie detector tests as employment screening devices and prohibits the majority of employers from requiring or suggesting that applicants undergo tests or from using test results. Federal law also prohibits:

  • Requiring, requesting, suggesting or causing, directly or indirectly, any employee or prospective employee to take or submit to a lie detector test
  • Basing employment decisions solely on the test results
  • Disciplining, discharging or discriminating against any employee or applicant for refusing to take a lie detector test1

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