Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA): Unveiling Employer Violations and Safeguarding Your Rights


In today’s dynamic and complex workplace, it is crucial for employees to be well-informed about their rights and protections. One significant legislation that aims to safeguard employees from unfair practices is the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) of 1988. This blog aims to provide accurate information about EPPA violations and empower employees with the knowledge to assert their rights, thereby fostering a fair and respectful work environment.

Understanding the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)

The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) of 1988 was enacted by the United States Congress to prevent the misuse of polygraph testing in the employment setting. This comprehensive legislation provides crucial protections for employees during the hiring process and throughout their employment journey. It is essential to gain a clear understanding of the key provisions and significance of the EPPA:

Prohibition against pre-employment polygraph testing

The EPPA strictly prohibits employers from requiring or requesting job applicants to undergo polygraph testing as a condition of employment, except in limited circumstances defined by the Act. This provision ensures that employees are not subjected to unfair or invasive testing practices during the hiring process.

Limitations on polygraph testing during employment

The EPPA sets specific conditions under which polygraph tests may be administered during employment. These conditions apply to certain industries involved in security services, investigations, and pharmaceuticals, among others. Employers must adhere to the Act’s guidelines, including providing written notices and obtaining consent. This limitation ensures that polygraph testing is conducted with transparency and consent, preventing its misuse as a tool for arbitrary employee monitoring.

Consequences of EPPA Violations by Employers

Employers found in violation of the EPPA face legal repercussions and penalties. It is important to understand the consequences of EPPA violations:

Legal ramifications and penalties

Employers who violate the EPPA may face legal action, including fines and potential civil lawsuits. The Act is enforced by government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Labor, which investigate reported violations. These penalties serve as a deterrent and a means of holding employers accountable for their actions.

Remedies for employees

Employees impacted by EPPA violations have various remedies available to them. These may include monetary compensation, reinstatement to their previous position, or other appropriate relief. Seeking professional legal advice is crucial to understand the available options. Employees can consult employment attorneys who specialize in labor law to assess their situation and pursue appropriate remedies.

Safeguarding Employee Rights under the EPPA

As an employee, it is important to know and assert your rights protected by the EPPA:

Right to refuse polygraph testing

The EPPA guarantees your right to refuse polygraph testing during the hiring process or employment, except in specific circumstances outlined in the Act. Employers should respect this right and not coerce or intimidate employees into taking polygraph tests. If an employer insists on polygraph testing without meeting the Act’s exceptions, it may be considered a violation of your rights.

Understanding and asserting your rights

Educate yourself about the provisions of the EPPA to ensure you can recognize potential violations. Familiarize yourself with the Act’s restrictions and exceptions regarding polygraph testing. If you suspect an EPPA violation, assert your rights by reporting the incident and seeking guidance from experienced employment attorneys.

Responding to EPPA Violations as an Employee

If you suspect an EPPA violation, here are some steps you can take:

Document incidents and collect evidence

Maintain a record of any instances where you believe the EPPA has been violated. Keep copies of relevant documents, such as job postings, emails, or notices related to polygraph testing. Additionally, gather supporting evidence, such as witness statements or testimonies, that can help substantiate your claim.

Reporting the violation

Report the EPPA violation to the appropriate regulatory agencies, such as the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. They are responsible for investigating and addressing reported violations. Provide them with a detailed account of the violation, including supporting evidence. Keep records of your communication with the regulatory agency for future reference.

Seek guidance from employment attorneys

Consult with experienced employment attorneys who specialize in labor law. They can provide legal advice tailored to your specific situation, help you understand your rights and options, and guide you through the process of seeking justice. An attorney can evaluate the merits of your case, explain potential legal remedies, and represent your interests if legal action becomes necessary.


Understanding your rights as an employee and being vigilant against EPPA violations is essential for maintaining a fair and respectful work environment. The EPPA provides crucial protections regarding polygraph testing during the hiring process and employment. 


By knowing your rights, documenting incidents, reporting violations, and seeking legal guidance when needed, you can help create a workplace that upholds employee rights and fosters a culture of compliance. Remember, your voice and actions matter in ensuring fair treatment and safeguarding your rights under the EPPA.