Mississippi Lie Detector Tests: What you need to know

Mississippi restricts polygraph testing by its licensing procedures for polygraph examiners. Mississippi law permits voluntary polygraph testing, provided it is conducted by a state-licensed polygraph examiner. To obtain a license, an individual must meet certain education, character, training, and examination requirements (MS Code Sec. 73-29-1 et seq.). It is a violation of state law, and grounds for the revocation of a license, for a polygraph examiner to:
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• Fail to inform a subject of the nature of the examination.
• Fail to advise a subject that the participation in the test is voluntary.
• Willfully make a false report concerning an examination.
• Require the subject to waive any rights or causes of action arising out of the administration of the test.
• Fail to notify the subject of the results of the test if the results are requested.
• In the case of tests conducted in connection with employment, require the subject to acknowledge that the test is not being conducted for such a purpose.
• Reveal the test results to any unauthorized person.
The results of a lie detector test cannot be admitted as evidence in Mississippi. Anyone conducting an unlicensed lie detector test may be punished by a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 or a 6-month sentence in the county jail.
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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