Connecticut Lie Detector Tests: What you need to know

Connecticut law prohibits employers from requesting or requiring any employee or prospective employee to submit to a polygraph examination as a condition of obtaining or of continuing employment. In addition, employers may not dismiss or discipline an employee for failing or refusing to submit to a polygraph examination. This law provides that employees and applicants cannot be forced or even requested to submit to a lie detector test as a condition of employment. Any employer that violates this law may face a fine of up to $1,000 for each violation.
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A “polygraph” is defined as “any mechanical or electrical instrument or device used to examine, test, or question individuals for the purpose of determining truthfulness.” Paper-and-pencil “honesty tests” apparently are not included in this definition. The law not only prohibits the use of polygraphs as a condition of employment but also prohibits the use of such instrument by an employment agency or other agent of an employer for any purpose whatsoever. When using outside investigative agencies, employers should be sure that these agencies are aware of this Connecticut law (CT Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-51g).
Exception. The law does not apply to individuals employed as or applying for positions as police officers in state or local government.
Under the federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (29 USC 2001et seq.), most private employers are prohibited from requiring employees or prospective employees to submit to lie detector tests. The law defines a "lie detector" as any mechanical or electrical device that is used to render a diagnostic opinion about the honesty or dishonesty of an individual. The definition includes polygraphs, ...

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