Texas Attorney General Opinion: JM-976 Page: 2 of 7
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Mr. Bryan M. Perot - Page 2 (JM-976)
rendering a diagnostic opinion regarding the
honesty or dishonesty of an individual.
Id. 1 2001(3). A polygraph is one kind of lie detector
subject to the prohibition of this statute. e
2001(3) (defining "polygraph").
The Employee Polygraph Protection Act does not apply to
employees of the United States, any state or local govern-
ment, or any political subdivision. id. 2006. Exemptions
permit the federal government to administer a lie detector
test to contractors with the Federal Bureau of Investiga-
tion and several agencies with responsibilities in the area
of national defense or national security. Id. 2006(b),
(c). Other exemptions lift the prohibition against the use
of polygraph examinations on employees or prospective
employees by (1) a private employer engaged in an ongoing
investigation involving economic loss or injury to the
business, (2) a private employer in the business of
providing specified security services, and (3) a private
employer authorized to manufacture, distribute, or dispense
controlled substances. Id. 2006(d)-(f). Each of these
exceptions permits only the use of polygraphs, not other lie
detector tests, and each is circumscribed by limitations set
out in the statute.
The Employee Polygraph Protection Act states
restrictions on the use of the exemptions, some of which
relate to the polygraph examiner's qualifications and his
duties during the examination. Id, 2007. The exemptions
for private employers are not available unless the polygraph
examination is conducted in accordance with requirements
directed at protecting the examinee's rights. The act
restricts the kinds of questions that the examinee may be
asked and permits him to terminate the test at any time.
The examiner may not conduct the test if there is sufficient
written evidence by a physician that the examinee is
suffering from a medical or psychological condition or
undergoing treatment that might cause abnormal responses
during the testing. Id. 2007(b) () (A)-(D). The examiner
shall not ask any question which was not given to the
examinee in writing for review prior to the test. .
2007(b)(2)(E), (3). The examiner may not conduct more
than five polygraph tests a day or conduct a test for less
than a 90-minute period. T. 2007(b) (5).
The Employee's Polygraph Protection Act also makes the
exemptions for private employers contingent upon the
polygraph examiner's compliance with the following
provisions on qualifications and requirements:
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: JM-976, text, 1988; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth273414/m1/2/: accessed January 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.