Phoenix Company Fined Over Lie Detector Tests

Published: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 1:49pm
Updated: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 3:43pm

A Phoenix medical clinic must pay a federal fine after asking its employees to take polygraph tests.

The U.S. Department of Labor said West Valley Ear, Nose and Throat requested five employees submit to polygraph exams after noticing ongoing cash shortages.

“Federal law makes it clear that most employers cannot require their employees to take lie detector tests,” said Janet Herold, regional solicitor in Los Angeles. “There are many other ways to deal with problems, including suspected theft, on the job.”

The Employee Polygraph Protection Act, enacted in 1988, allows an employer to ask an employee to take a polygraph test only when there is reasonable suspicion the worker was involved in misconduct that resulted in economic harm.

The Labor Department said West Valley Ear, Nose and Throat failed to identify a reasonable suspicion for any of the employees and will pay a $15,000 civil penalty.

Employers with questions about federal workplace laws can contact the Wage and Hour Division at 1-866-487-9243 or at www.dol.gov/whd.

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