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All About the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)

Law Publishers

Updated on Nov 8, 2014

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The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) is a federal law that establishes guidelines for employers’ use of polygraph tests for employment related reasons. In this article, we'll briefly discuss the scope of and employers' compliance with the EPPA. As an employer, knowing about this Act is important.

Who the EPPA applies to?
The EPPA applies to most private employers. It does not apply to employers under local, state and federal governments.

What are the prohibitions of the employers under this Act?

• The Act prohibits employers from using lie detector tests on employees for either pre-employment screening or during the course of employment. In other words, employers generally may not require or request any employee or job applicant to take a lie detector test.

• An employer may not discharge, discipline, discriminate against, deny employment or promotion, or threaten to take any such action against an employee or job applicant for refusal to take a test, on the basis of the results of a test, for filing a complaint, for testifying in any proceeding or for exercising any rights under the Act.

Exemptions under the EPPA

• Employers in the private sector may administer polygraph tests, but no other lie detector tests, to employees suspected, to a reasonable extent of complicity, in workplace incidents that result in economic loss to the employer (i.e. theft, embezzlement, etc.).

• Security service employers including security alarm, security guard, and armored car firms as well as manufacturers, distributors and dispensers of controlled substances in the pharmaceutical industry are permitted to administer polygraph tests, but no other lie detector tests, to job applicants.

What are the employee rights?

• The EPPA provides employees the right to employment opportunities without being subjected to lie detector tests, unless a specific exemption applies.

• Where polygraph tests are allowed, individuals have the right to a written notice before testing, the right to refuse or discontinue a test, and the right not to have test results disclosed to unauthorized personnel.

• An employee or job applicant may file suit against employers who violate the Act.

What are the penalties for violations?

• Civil penalties are up to $10,000 per violation. An employer who violates the law may be liable to the employee or job applicant for legal and equitable relief, which may include employment, reinstatement, promotion, and payment of lost wages and benefits.

What must the employer do?

• Ensure compliance with EPPA: Employers should comply with the rules under the EPPA. Adherence to the Act ensures employers’ legal obligations are met and promotes a positive workplace environment.

• Display compliance posters: As part of measures to be taken for compliance with the EPPA, employers are required to display EPPA posters prominently and conspicuously in the workplace where they can be observed by employees and job applicants.

• Purchase EPPA posters from a reputable compliance service: Make sure to purchase EPPA posters from a reputable and experienced compliance service to ensure optimal compliance.

Labor Law Center provides labor law poster & compliance solutions to any size business, corporate resellers and government institutions across the United States since 1999. Labor law posters at Laborlawcenter.com make it easy for the businesses to stay compliant with the latest labor laws and regulations. Also, Laborlawcenter.com offers Texas labor law posters. To learn more, visit our website.
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