Testing in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky & Tennessee
American Polygraph Association
Business Polygraphs - Tests conducted in accordance with the Federal E.P.P.A
Unfortunately, there will be sometime in your experience
as a business owner or executive where you are faced with a business loss
due to employee theft, deception or negligence. In these difficult times,
it is always best to bring in an outside professional to handle these
delicate situations and to preserve company morale.
If you have had a specific business loss, you CAN conduct
polygraph tests on your employees, but these tests fall under the strict
guidelines of the Employee Polygraph Protection Act
For your convenience, we have included here how this
law effects you so that you can get your situation resolved and do so
within the legal limits of the law. Please read the following document
carefully and then contact us for a consultation.
Employee Polygraph Protection Act
of 1988 (EPPA)
What is EPPA?
Who is affected by EPPA?
How does EPPA affect businesses which are
What are the conditions that an employer
must meet in order to ask a current employee to take a polygraph?
What is EPPA?
On December 27, 1988, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) became
law. This federal law established guidelines for polygraph testing and
imposed restrictions on most private employers. The following is a brief
summary of the essential elements of the law.
Who is affected by
This legislation only affects commercial businesses. Local, State and
Federal governmental agencies (such as police departments) are not affected
by the law, nor are public agencies, such as a school system or correctional
institution. In addition, there are exemptions in EPPA for some commercial
businesses. These are:
- Businesses under contract with the Federal Government
involving specified activities (e.g., counterintelligence work).
- Businesses whose primary purpose consists of providing
armored car personnel, personnel involved in the design or security
personnel in facilities which have a significant impact on the health
or safety of any state. Examples of these facilities would be a nuclear
or electric power plant, public water works, or toxic waste disposal.
- Companies which manufacturer, distribute or dispense
How does EPPA affect
businesses which are not exempt?
In general, businesses cannot request, suggest or require any job applicant
to take a pre-employment polygraph examination. Secondly, businesses can
request a current employee to take a polygraph examination or suggest
to such a person that a polygraph examination be taken, only when specific
conditions have been satisfied. However, the employer cannot require current
employees to take and examination, and if an employee refuses a request
or suggestion, the employer cannot discipline or discharge the employee
based on the refusal to submit to the examination.
What are the conditions
that an employer must meet in order to ask a current employee to take
a polygraph? The American Polygraph Association is furnishing
the following information, which it believes is in good faith, and conforms
to the Department of Labor's Regulations relating to polygraph tests for
employees. This information is considered only as a guideline to assist
in complying with the Act and Regulations, and the American Polygraph
Association is disclaiming any liability in connection therewith. Employers
should develop their own forms, using their own company name, and should
also review their final forms through their own legal counsel.
I. Checklist for the
- The incident must be an ongoing, specific investigation.
- It must be an identifiable economic loss to the
- Obtain a copy of the Employer Polygraph Protection
Act of 1988.
- Provide the employee with a written statement that
a.) Identification of the company and location of employee
b.) Description of the loss or activity under investigation
c.) Location of the loss
d.) Specific amount of the loss
e.) Type of economic loss
f.) How the employee had access to the loss Note: access alone is not
sufficient grounds for polygraph testing
g.) What kind of reasonable suspicion there is to suspect the employee
of being involved in the loss?
- The Statement provided to employee MUST be signed
by someone other than the polygraph examiner, who is authorized to legally
bind the employee, and MUST be retained by the employer for at least
- Read the Notice to Examinee to the employee, which
should be signed, timed, dated and witnessed.
- Provide the employee with 48 hours advanced notice
(not counting weekends or holidays) to the date and time of the scheduled
- Provide employee with written notice of the date,
time and location of the polygraph test, including written directions
if the test is to be conducted at a location other than at the place
- Maintain a statement of adverse actions taken against
the employee following a polygraph test.
- Conduct an additional interview of employee prior
to any adverse action following a polygraph test.
- Maintain records of ALL of the above for a minimum
of 3 years.
- Employees may not waive their rights.
- Police and investigators are not exempt and must
comply if they are conducting an employment related polygraph test,
i.e., when conducting a polygraph test on an internal theft for a missing
deposit. Information about a polygraph provided to the employer by a
police officer or investigator is prohibited under the Act, since employers
are not allowed to use, accept or inquire about the results.
- There is a $10,000 penalty for EACH violation of
- Check out the credentials of the polygraph examiner
that you use and verify that the examiner meets EPPA requirements. Never
hesitate to ask for written proof of licensing, liability insurance,
- Use your company letterhead on all forms you provide
to the employee. Have your corporate attorney review your actions to
assure your compliance of EPPA.
II. Checklist for the Polygraph Examiner:
- Provide the employer with a copy of EPPA guidelines.
Do not just try to explain what has to be done during a phone conversation
with the employer.
- The examiner should not get involved in assisting
the employer to determine who should or should not be tested, or who
does or does not have access or reasonable suspicion.
- Obtain a copy of the signed statement of advance
notice provided to the employee, along with a copy of the explanation
of their rights and written directions/appointment PRIOR to the Interview.
Obtain a photo I.D. of the employee. RULE OF THUMB: No form, no test!
No identification, no test!
- Provide the employee with a written explanation of
the polygraph test and procedures. Have it signed by the employee and
make sure to include the date and time it was provided.
- Read and explain the rights to the employee. Have
it signed, dated and timed.
- Advised the employee of any taping and/or one-way
- Carry a minimum of $50,000 or equivalent professional
- Conduct no more than 5 polygraph tests during one
calendar day, even if only 1 test is under EPPA. This includes ALL tests
for all employers and/or lawyers you conducted during the day!
- Administer no test that is less than 90 minutes
- Provide the employee with the polygraph test questions
in writing. Have the employee write out their answers and sign the question
sheet for verification of review.
- Have an appropriate license, if so required, in
the state where the test is to be conducted.
- Keep a log of company name, employee name, date
and times for all polygraph tests during the course of a day when 1
test is given under EPPA.
- Inform the employee of the results of the test and
allow him/her an opportunity to explain any reactions.
- Provide any opinion of deception or non-deception
- 15. Results must only be based on the polygraph test
results, and should NOT be based on behavior.
- Do not include any information, unless relevant,
to the original purpose of the test to the employer.
- Keep a copy of ALL reports, notes and records for
a minimum of 3 years.
- Provide a copy of charts, questions and reports
to the employee upon request.
- Provide a copy of charts, questions and reports
to the employer when results are deceptive.
- Provide the Department of Labor with copies of the
same, within 72 hours, upon request of the Secretary of DOL, or other
authorized person of DOL.
III. Preemployment Testing under EPPA
For preemployment testing under EPPA, refer to the Act
for exemptions. Even though an employer may be exempt and able to use
preemployment polygraph testing, the guidelines under EPPA still apply.
Follow the Checklist for both the employer and examiner use, omitting
the step for preparation of the employer's statement with respect to an
ongoing investigation, which would apply for specific testing only. ALL
OTHER GUIDELINES WILL APPLY.
US Code: Title 29, Chapter 22
Related EPPA links:
Compliance Assistance - The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)
US Department of Labor EPPA Poster
Schedule an appointment
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about Mr. Kelly - Read Polygraph Frequently Asked
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