Can My Employer Make Me Take a Lie Detector Test? By on August 05, 2015

The use of lie detector tests in employment settings is mostly prohibited by federal law. The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 provides that persons have a right to employment opportunities without having to take a test. It prohibits the use of polygraphs not only for applicant screening but also for disciplining or discharging employees. The law only applies to private employers, with certain exceptions, so a person seeking employment with or working for a governmental entity could be required to take a test. Most governmental employers, however, do not require polygraphs.

In addition to prohibiting tests, the following actions by employers are prohibited by the Act:

  • inquiring about the results of tests;
  • firing or disciplining an employee because of the results of a test;
  • discriminating against an employee because of the results of a test; and
  • firing, disciplining, or discriminating against an applicant or employee for participating in a complaint proceeding pursuant to the Act.
There are exceptions to the prohibition against polygraphs for employees in the security services sector, such armored car and security guard companies. The Act also exempts employees of pharmaceutical makers and pharmacies. Another exception is when an employer is conducting an investigation into possible theft or embezzlement that caused an economic loss to the employer.

In situations where polygraphs are allowed, the employer is required to engage the services of a licensed examiner, who must apply the test according to strict standards. Disclosure of test results by the employer is also strictly limited. Persons who are unlawfully subjected to a polygraph test are entitled by the Act to file a lawsuit and/or a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor.

At Tipp & Buley, we have over 55 years of collective experience in employment-related legal matters. If you've been subjected to an unlawful employment practice such as an improper polygraph test, please call us. We'll put our experience to work for you. Call 406-549-5186 or visit us online to set up a one-on-one consultation..

Related to This

mountainside with M on it

Tipp Coburn & Associates

Our attorneys have been fighting for Montanans since 1959. Over the years, we have represented more than 7,500 clients and helped them recover millions of dollars in compensation. We are affiliated with renowned legal organizations, including The National Trial Lawyers and the Montana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

To schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys, request a case review online or call us at (406) 549-5186

Contact Our Staff

"Torrance represented me in a very complex breach of contract/wrongful termination case ... Extremely knowledgeable and professional. I can't recommend him highly enough."

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite
Google map image of our location in 2200 Brooks Street  Missoula, MT

Missoula Office

2200 Brooks Street
Missoula, MT 59801

Open Today 8:30am - 5:30pm

What is the best time for you?

Add additional time

Tell us a bit about yourself...

(406) 549-5186 Send a message