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Publication #FE411

2017 Handbook of Employment Regulations Affecting Florida Farm Employers and Workers: Polygraph Protection for Employees [Federal]1

Fritz Roka, Michael Olexa, Carol Fountain, Jessica Fernandez2


Establishes rights of employees pertaining to polygraph tests.


Most private employers are prohibited from using lie detector tests either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment.

Federal, state, and local governments are not affected by the law. The act permits polygraph tests, subject to restrictions, of certain prospective employees of security service firms (armored cars, alarms, and guards) and of pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, and dispensers.

Those employees subject to polygraph tests have certain strict rights, including the conduct and length of the test, the right of written notice, the right to refuse or discontinue a test, and the right not to have the test results disclosed to unauthorized persons.

Posting Requirements

All employers, even though they never require polygraph tests, are required to display a poster (WH Publication 1462) in a prominent place where all employees and job applicants can see it.

Responsible Agency

United States Department of Labor
Employment Standards Administration
Wage and Hour Division
200 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20210
Toll-free 1-866-487-2365



This is EDIS document FE411, a publication of the Department of Food and Resource Economics, UF/IFAS Extension. Published 2003, revised 2009 and 2017. This handbook is produced and distributed by the UF/IFAS Center for Agricultural and Natural Resource Law. Originally published by Leo Polopolus. Visit the EDIS website at


Fritz Roka, associate professor, Food and Resource Economics Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, Immokalee, FL. Michael Olexa, professor, Food and Resource Economics Department, and director, Center for Agricultural and Natural Resource Law UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL. Carol Fountain, editor, Food and Resource Economics Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL. Jessica Fernandez, graduate student, Levin College of Law, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

This document is designed to provide accurate, current, and authoritative information on the subject. However, since the laws, administrative rulings, and court decisions on which it is based are subject to constant revision, portions of this publication could become outdated at any time. This publication is distributed with the understanding that the authors are not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice, and the information contained herein should not be regarded as a substitute for professional advice. For these reasons, the utilization of these materials by any person constitutes an agreement to hold harmless the authors, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and the University of Florida for any liability claims, damages, or expenses that may be incurred by any person as a result of reference to or reliance on the information contained in this publication.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.