Under the federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (EPPA) (29 U.S.C. 2001 et seq.), most private employers are prohibited from requiring employees or prospective employees to submit to lie detector tests. It is also illegal to use or inquire about a lie detector test conducted by someone else. An employer may not discipline, discharge, discriminate against, or deny promotion or employment to an employee or a prospective employee for refusing to take a test, or on the basis of the test results. In addition, employers may not discipline, discharge, discriminate against, or deny promotion or employment in retaliation for a complaint that the employer has violated the law.
An employee or prospective employee must be given a written notice explaining the employee's or prospective employee's rights and the limitations imposed, such as prohibited areas of questioning and restrictions on the use of test results. Among other rights, an employee or prospective employee may refuse to take a test, terminate a test at any time, or decline to take a test if he or she suffers from a medical condition. The results of a test alone cannot be disclosed to anyone other than the employer and the employee or prospective employee without his or her consent or, under the direction of a court, government agency, arbitrator, or mediator.
Where polygraph examinations are permitted, they are subject to strict standards concerning the conduct of the test, including the pretest, testing, and posttest phases of the examination.
Civil actions may be brought by an employee or prospective employee in federal or state court against employers that violate the EPPA for legal or equitable relief, such as employment reinstatement, ...