Q. I want to know whether applicants have ever stolen from or been fired by a prior employer. Can I require them to take a lie-detector test?
A. No. The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (EPPA) generally prevents private employers from using lie-detector tests, either for pre-or during the course of employment. (There are limited exceptions, such as in the security and pharmaceutical industries.) In most cases, employers may not require or request any employee or job applicant to take a lie-detector test. They can’t discharge, discipline or discriminate against an employee or job applicant for refusing to take a test or for exercising other rights under the EPPA. In addition, employers are required to display the EPPA poster in the workplace.