108 Banking L.J. 555 (1991)
When Polygraph Testing Is Allowed: Limited Exceptions under the EPPA

handle is hein.journals/blj108 and id is 555 raw text is: WHEN POLYGRAPH TESTING IS ALLOWED: LIMITED
Durwood Ruegger*
The author describes the options still available to
bank management under the EPPA.
Lie detector testing originated as a means for conducting
criminal investigations. In recent years, however, it has been
used most often-to screen job applicants and to check em-
ployee honesty. Private sector lie detector testing was dealt a
severe blow when Congress passed the Employee Polygraph
Protection Act of 1988 (EPPA).' The EPPA, which became
effective December 27, 1988, bans the use of lie detector test-
ing in most private sector settings.2 Under limited circum-
stances and subject to procedural safeguards, however, banks
and other private sector employers may still administer poly-
graph tests to their employees. This article explores those
areas of the EPPA that allow polygraph testing and examines
the procedural safeguards mandated by EPPA.
Types of Lie Detector Tests That Are Banned
The EPPA defines lie detector test as a polygraph, de-
ceptograph, voice stress analyzer, psychological stress evaluator,
or any other similar device (whether mechanical or electrical)
that is used, or the results of which are used, for the purpose of
rendering a diagnostic opinion regarding the honesty or dishon-
esty of an individual.' The ban applies only to mechanical or
* Associate Professor of Finance, University of Southern Mississippi; Member of the Mis-
sissippi Bar.
129 U.S.C.  2001 et seq. (1988).
2 The purpose of the EPPA was to eliminate the denial of employment opportunities by
prohibiting the least accurate yet more widely used lie detector tests, preemployment and
random examinations, and providing standards for the safeguards from abuse during tests
not prohibited. For legislative history and purposes of the EPPA, see 1988 U.S. Code Cong.
& Admin. News 726. Labor and Human Resources Comm., S. Rep. No. 284 (1988).
3 29 U.S.C.  2001(3) (1988).


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