Polygraph Testing

A recent article in the Arizona Republic focused on polygraph examiners and the use of lie-detector tests. The test may be used as part of the employment testing process, but is probably most widely recognized from television and movie portrayals as being used in criminal matters to “catch” a suspect or witness in a lie. Although the actual admissibility of the results of a polygraph test in a court of law may be open to debate depending on the jurisdiction, there is still much interest and discussion of polygraph examinations in both employment and legal settings.

If you wish to read more about polygraph tests, there are a number of websites you may wish to view.  Amongst these websites is the American Polygraph Association which has some FAQs regarding polygraph tests on their website. In terms of employment testing using polygraph examinations, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) has some helpful information on their website about the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA).  The DOL website states (in part) that the EPPA “prohibits most private employers from using lie detector tests, either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment.”  Additional information on federal and laws in various states regarding the use of polygraph testing for employees may be found at http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/state-laws-polygraphs-lie-detector-tests.html.  Other sites discussing the general reliability and admissibility of polygraph tests may be found at Nolo as well the American Psychological Association and Findlaw.  You may also wish to search the Law Library’s catalog for books on polygraph testing and, with your Law Library card, access some of our remote online databases to search for articles on the subject.

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