Can Employees Be Required to Take Lie-Detector Tests?

Under Minnesota law, employees cannot be required to take lie-detector tests, but they may volunteer to do so.  Minnesota law prohibits employers from directly or indirectly soliciting or requiring “a polygraph, voice stress analysis, or any test purporting to test the honesty of any employee or prospective employee.”  See Minn. Stat. § 181.75.  It is also unlawful for anyone to sell or interpret lie-detector tests of employees or prospective employees if the individual knows that the lie-detector tests have been solicited or required by an employer.

Lie-detector tests may be administered by employers only in the rare situation in which an employee requests a polygraph test.  When this occurs, Minnesota law requires that the employer must inform the employee that taking the test is voluntary.  However, the employer may not tell anyone that the test was administered to the employee because Minnesota law prohibits anyone from disclosing the fact that another person has taken a polygraph or honesty-test, except to the individual tested or persons authorized by the individual to receive the results.  See Minn. Stat. § 181.76.

About Michael Miller

Michael is a Chambers-rated attorney in Briggs and Morgan's Employment, Benefits, and Labor group and is head of the firm’s Employment Law Counseling and Compliance practice group. He has 25 years experience counseling employers to prevent unwanted litigation and advises companies of ongoing changes in federal, state and local employment law. Michael advises employers in all areas of employment law including discipline and discharge, leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, affirmative action plans, background checking, and drug/alcohol testing. For Michael's full bio, click here.

Posted on October 3, 2011, in Performance and Discipline and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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