EMPLOYEE POLYGRAPH PROTECTION ACT
The Employee Polygraph Protection Act prohibits most private employers from using lie detector tests either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment.
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Employers are generally prohibited from requiring or requesting
any employee or job applicant to take a lie detector test, and from
discharging, disciplining, or discriminating against an employee or
prospective employee for refusing to take a test or for exercising other
rights under the Act.
Federal, State and local governments are not affected by the law. Also,
the law does not apply to tests given by the Federal Government to
certain private individuals engaged in national security-related activities.
The Act permits polygraph (a kind of lie detector) tests to be administered
in the private sector, subject to restrictions, to certain prospective
employees of security service firms (armored car, alarm, and guard), and
of pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors and dispensers.
The Act also permits polygraph testing, subject to restrictions, of certain
employees of private firms who are reasonably suspected of involvement
in a workplace incident (theft, embezzlement, etc.) that resulted in
economic loss to the employer.
The law does not preempt any provision of any State or local law or any
collective bargaining agreement which is more restrictive with respect to
lie detector tests.
Where polygraph tests are permitted, they are subject to numerous strict
standards concerning the conduct and length of the test. Examinees
have a number of specific rights, including the right to a written notice
before testing, the right to refuse or discontinue a test, and the right not
to have test results disclosed to unauthorized persons.
ENFORCEMENTThe Secretary of Labor may bring court actions to restrain violations and
assess civil penalties against violators. Employees or job applicants may
also bring their own court actions.
THE LAW REQUIRES EMPLOYERS TO DISPLAY THIS POSTER
WHERE EMPLOYEES AND JOB APPLICANTS CAN READILY SEE IT.