Polygraph Protection Act

Michigan has compiled the POLYGRAPH PROTECTION ACT OF 1981 at MCL 37.201. This Act, effective as of March 1983, regulates the use of polygraph examinations by employers and employment agencies and the administration of polygraph examinations to employees and applicants for employment. It provides remedies and penalties for violations. Employers and employment agencies are prohibited from requiring polygraph examinations of employees and applicants for employment. They are also prohibited from discriminating against employees and applicants for employment because they refuse or decline to take a polygraph examination, and prohibited from taking any action against an employee because of an alleged or actual opinion that an employee did not tell the truth during a polygraph examination.MCL 37.202 provides that an “Employee” is an individual who works for another person for compensation and an “Employer” is a person who employs 1 or more persons or who accepts applications for employment, including an agent of an employer. Definitions for “Employment agency”, “Examiner”, “Person”, “Polygraph examination”, “Psychological stress evaluator”, and “Psychological stress evaluator examination” are provided.

MCL 37.203 provides that employer or employment agency shall not as a condition of employment, promotion, or change in status of employment, or as an express or implied condition of a benefit or privilege of employment, request or require an employee or applicant to take or submit to a polygraph examination. They cannot administer or threaten to administer a polygraph examination nor can the require a waiver of the prohibition. They also cannot refuse to hire an applicant for employment because the applicant refuses or declines a polygraph examination. If the applicant or employee requests the polygraph, it is allowed under certain conditions and an employer or employment agency is prohibited from taking any action against an employee or applicant for employment based upon an alleged or actual opinion that the employee or applicant for employment did not tell the truth during the requested polygraph.

MCL 37.205 makes confidential all information which communicates the results or analysis of an employee’s or applicant’s polygraph examination or the fact that an employee or applicant for employment refused to submit to a polygraph examination. MCL 37.206 prevents information obtained from being admissible in a criminal proceeding.

Any person who violates the Act may be subject to injunctive relief or damages including attorney fees, or both. He is also guilty of a misdemeanor, $1000.00 fine and/or 90 days incarceration. If an employee is discharged in violation of the Act, the employer will pay double the wages lost.

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