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Polygraph Testing of U.S. Employees

Know The Law

Employers in the United States are permitted to request that employees submit to a polygraph exam under some specific conditions, as provided for by Federal Law. There are two types of exams typically used by employers, the Specific Loss Exam and the Pre-Employment Exam.

SPECIFIC LOSS EXAM

Questions must be limited to the specific loss only. The examiner is not permitted to ask questions about losses other than those listed in the notification form.

PRE-EMPLOYMENT EXAM

Prior to 1988 many businesses required their prospective employees to take and pass a polygraph test. Since these new laws were passed, only the following businesses are permitted to request pre-employment polygraph exams:

  • SECURITY COMPANIES
  • PHARMACEUTICAL SALES OR TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES
  • POWER GENERATING COMPANIES
  • LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
  • OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

THE EMPLOYEE POLYGRAPH PROTECTION ACT OF 1988

Many GPN examiners are available for EPPA exams (see list of testing locations for EPPA icon). The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (U.S. federal law) establishes that certain requirements be met for an employee to take a polygraph exam, with severe penalties for violations. Please complete the following check-list to insure compliance with the law or click here for more information.

  • Polygraph may be requested by an employer of an employee |  [read more]

  • Polygraph testing can not be in violation of State law |  [read more]

  • Employer (or third party) must have suffered a specific loss |  [read more]

  • Loss must be identifiable |  [read more]

  • Employee must have had access |  [read more]

  • Employee must be suspected of involvement |  [read more]

  • Schedule the exam |  [read more]

  • Make request to employee in writing |  [read more]

  • Can not fire an employee just for refusing to take a polygraph |  [read more]

  • Can not fire an employee just for failing a polygraph |  [read more]

  • Release of polygraph report to employee when action is taken |  [read more]

  • Employer must retain form for 3 years |  [read more]