South Carolina Lie Detector Tests laws & HR compliance analysis

South Carolina Lie Detector Tests: What you need to know

The South Carolina Polygraph Examiners Act regulates all polygraph examiners. The law allows only licensed, bonded polygraph examiners to conduct lie detector tests. Licenses must be renewed annually. The equipment used must satisfy minimum standards, and the examiner must pass a state test and meet specific qualifications to obtain a license. The license must be displayed prominently at the examiner's place of business. Violators of these rules are guilty of a misdemeanor and may face a fine of between $100 and $1000, imprisonment for up to 6 months, or both (SC Code Sec. 40-53-10et seq.).
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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 is also illegal to use or inquire about a lie detector test conducted by someone else (29 USC 2002).
Subject to certain restrictions, any employer may legally request that an employee take a lie detector test as part of an ongoing investigation involving economic loss or injury to the employer's business, such as theft, embezzlement, misappropriation, or industrial espionage or sabotage. However, such tests can be administered only to employees who are reasonably suspected of involvement, and they must have had access to the property that is the subject of the ...

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