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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Employee Polygraph Protection Act

Volume 3 . Chapter 8, Part 3 . § 8-18
Key Point 8-18 Federal law prohibits employers that are engaged in interstate commerce (regardless of the number of employees) to require or even suggest that an employee or prospective employee submit to a polygraph examination. There is no exemption for religious organizations. A very limited exception exists for "ongoing investigations" into employee theft.

A. Background

The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA), 203 which was enacted by Congress in 1988, prohibits any "employer" (defined as an employer "engaged in or affecting commerce") from doing any one of the following three acts:

  1. Directly or indirectly, to require, request, suggest, or cause any employee or prospective employee to take or submit to any lie detector test;
  2. To use, accept, refer to, or inquire concerning the results of any lie detector test of any employee or prospective employee;

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