We have the expertise and the ability to conduct polygraph examinations as needed. Here are a few things clients should know about polygraph testing.
Can an employer have an employee take a Polygraph?
Yes. However, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 requires that the employer has suffered a specific economic loss, that the employee to be tested had access to the missing property or loss, and that the employee is suspected of involvement in the missing property or loss beyond mere access. If these conditions are satisfied, the employer must make a request in writing that the employee take the exam. We provide forms for such requests. This request must advise the employee that the exam is voluntary and that no action can be taken against him/her solely for refusing to take it. The employee must also be advised of the incident under investigation, his/her legal rights, and a number of other notifications required under the law. This request must be presented to the employee at least 2 business days prior to the scheduled exam.
Questions must be limited to the specific loss only. The examiner is not permitted to ask questions about losses other than those listed in the notification form.
If an employee “fails” a polygraph under these conditions, the employer still may not take action against the employee without additional supporting evidence indicating the employee’s involvement in the loss.
Can someone under 18 take a Polygraph?
Yes, but the examiner must first have the written consent of a parent or guardian. However, most examiners will not test anyone under 12 years of age barring extraordinary circumstances.
Can medication affect the test results?
Yes. Any drug or medication that suppresses the normal activity of the central nervous system (such as sedatives, anti-anxiety meds, blood pressure stabilizers, etc.) will reduce the strength of reactions found on the polygraph charts, resulting in a higher likelihood of inconclusive results. The medications will not change the outcome of an exam and only serve to reduce the odds of resolving the problem. It would be our suggestion to test any person who is using these types of drugs or medications on a computerized polygraph, which is capable of greater sensitivity than the analog version.
What if the person has a medical condition?
A polygraph exam does not cause any direct injury to the person being tested. The only discomfort is a standard blood pressure cuff, which goes on the arm (typically) and is inflated for less than five minutes at a time. There are increased stress levels during the testing process, which should be considered. Some medical conditions are sensitive to increased stress levels, such as some heart conditions. Depending on the medical condition, most examiners would require approval from the treating physician prior to conducting an exam on someone with such a condition.
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