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Employee protections when exemptions do not apply
  • Employers may not take action against employees or prospective employees for exercising their rights under the Act.

The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)’s exemptions do not apply in all situations. When no exemption applies, employees and prospective employees are entitled to the Act’s protections.

The law prohibits employers from directly or indirectly requiring, requesting, suggesting, or causing any employee or prospective employee to take or submit to any lie detector test. The employer may not use, accept, refer to, or inquire concerning the results of any existing lie detector test that an employee or prospective employee may have already taken.

Employers may not take action against employees or prospective employees for exercising their rights under the Act. Those rights include:

  • Refusing, declining, or failing to take or submit to any lie detector test;
  • Filing a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division;
  • Instituting a complaint in civil court; and
  • Testifying in a proceeding.

Employers may not retaliate against employees based on their assertion of their rights or any lie detector test by:

  • Discharge
  • Discipline
  • Discrimination in any manner
  • Denial of employment
  • Denial of promotion
  • Threatening to take any action


Employers who violate the Act can be assessed a civil penalty of no more than $10,000, and employees or prospective employees can bring civil suits against them.

States laws

Many states have their own statutes, especially involving examiner licensing, stricter provisions than the federal law, and admissibility of the results. State statutes usually have a wider scope than the EPPA.