Florida Lie Detector Tests: What you need to know

Lie detector tests provide employers with a tool that tests the honesty of a prospective employee. If an employer is a victim of theft by an employee, lie detector tests provide the employer with a tool that assists in the investigation of the theft. However, many states, and the federal government, have enacted laws that restrict or prohibit the use of lie detector tests. Many state courts have concluded that lie detector test results are inconsistent and, therefore, inadmissible as evidence in court.
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Florida does not regulate lie detector testing in any way. There is no licensing or certification requirement for polygraph examiners, nor are there any standards or guidelines for administering polygraph tests. Employers making their first foray into the world of polygraph testing are advised to obtain and check references from anyone claiming expertise in this area. Out-of-state licenses and certifications can often be verified with a single phone call.
Effect of federal law. Lie detector testing by employers is strictly regulated under federal law. All Florida employers are subject to the federal provisions, which prohibit testing in most circumstances.
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, deceptographs, voice stress analyzers, psychological stress evaluators, and similar devices (29 USC 2001). It ...

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