The Employee Polygraph Protection Act

Employers are, in many instances, legally liable for the actions, inactions, and behaviors of their employees. As a result, it is in the best interest of any business owner to be very selective in the hiring process and to maintain an active and careful observation of employees throughout the course of their employment.

It is equally important, or even more so, that as an employer you ensure that you remain in compliance with the law and respectful of your workers’ legal rights. Though polygraphs, or lie-detectors, are sometimes useful in truth seeking efforts, most companies are barred from using them by the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (EPPA).

If you are unsure how the EPPA may relate to your current policies and your company, then it is highly advisable for you to speak with an attorney about the matter. Contact the Des Moines business lawyers of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. today at (877) 327-2600 to discuss the situation

Important Provisions of the EPPA

The aim of the EPPA is to prevent the abusive use of lie-detector tests in any aspect of employment. It is valuable, in part, because polygraph tests are not sufficiently accurate that they should comprise the primary basis of a hiring or firing decision. Additionally, they can subject even an honest and ideal employee to intense and unnecessary psychological distress. Some important provisions of the Employee Polygraph Protection Act are:

  • Polygraph tests may not be used as a pre-screening measure for most private employers
  • Polygraph tests may not be administered to current employees, and refusal to submit to a test may not be punished with dismissal
  • Some specific industries (armored cars and other security functions, pharmaceutical manufacturing, distribution, and dispensing, and some others), given the nature of the work to be performed, are entitled to use polygraphs
  • Any tests that are administered must adhere to very strict guidelines

Contact Us

The Des Moines business lawyers of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. are dedicated to helping business owners wade through the complicated tangle of rules and regulations that govern employer-employee interaction. Contact us at (877) 327-2600.

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