In most cases, no. In Maryland, definitely not.

The federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) generally bans polygraph (lie detector) tests in the workplace, with a few exceptions:

  • Employers that provide certain security services, such as armored car personnel or security alarm installation, may require polygraphs.
  • Employers that manufacture, distribute, or dispense certain controlled substances may require polygraphs.
  • Employers may ask a current employee to take a polygraph in connection with an ongoing investigation of economic loss or injury to the employer’s business. The employer must show that the employee had access to the missing property and that it has a reasonable suspicion that the employee was involved in the incident.

Even if one of these exceptions applies, an employer must meet a long list of requirements designed to protect employee rights. For example, the employer must give written notice to the employee ahead of time, including a list of questions that will be asked. The employer must use a licensed examiner.

In Maryland, there is a law which bans polygraphs in the workplace. Code of Maryland, Labor & Employment Article, Section 3-702. Each Maryland application for employment shall state, in bold-faced upper case type, this notice which summarizes the law:

“Under Maryland law, an employer may not require or demand, as a condition of employment, prospective employment, or continued employment, that an individual submit to or take a polygraph examination or similar test. An employer who violates this law is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine not exceeding $ 100.”

The Maryland law does not apply to law enforcement or corrections officers or applicants.

**This article is designed to provide helpful information that can be read within 2 minutes. It is neither a full explanation of this subject nor legal advice. To learn more, and to receive legal advice on which you can rely, contact me or another lawyer.

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