Polygraph for Business Losses - (EPPA)

Local Certified, Confidential, Accurate and Licensed Lie Detection Tests in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia

Polygraph for Business Losses – (EPPA)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that 75% of employees steal from the workplace and that most do so repeatedly.

Polygraph for Business Losses - (EPPA)If your business has unexplained losses, thefts or shortages, there is a very good chance employees may be involved.

Many small business owners have a difficult time believing that one or more of their employees or managers are stealing from them. In many cases, the owner or manager has developed long term friendships with employees and the personal betrayal of theft is hard to swallow or even acknowledge.


Call The Polygraph Examiner for information about LOCAL lie detection tests in North Carolina, South Carolina & Georgia at (800) 497-9305.

If you have even slight suspicions that losses could be employee related, all the evidence and research will tell you to TRUST that suspicion. And it is important to find out the truth because employee theft undermines the morale of the honest employees. Most honest employees who believe there is a theft problem will eventually leave your company if that problem goes unchecked.

There is good news

Federal Law gives you the right to utilize polygraph to help solve specific business losses. Even better, the law requires that you test only the employees for which you establish a ‘reasonable suspicion’ that they are involved. This takes any employee perceptions of prejudice out of the picture and gives you a legal leg to stand on when you announce that you will be conducting polygraph as part of a theft investigation.

Here are some of the business losses where polygraph can be utilized:

  • Missing Money
  • Inventory Shortages
  • Product Tampering
  • Industrial Espionage
  • Commercial Sabotage
  • Intellectual Property Theft
  • Property & Merchandise Damage
  • Misappropriation and Embezzlement

There is more good news. Announcing that polygraph will be a part of the investigation begins to put an appropriate fear into the actual guilty employee(s). We often find that the ‘problem’ goes away before the investigation is even complete and when I mean go away, I mean they go away permanently, finding a convenient reason to quit or simply abandon their job. And if the ‘reasonable suspect’ refuses to take the polygraph test, you can legally terminate their employment for this refusal.

The Federal Law is known as the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (EPPA) and is one of the more clearly written laws on the books. There are specific requirements you must meet to conduct polygraph testing, of which the most crucial are the following:

  • You must have a specific loss. (deposit missing from the company safe, etc.)
  • You must have an ongoing investigation (filing a police report, etc)
  • The person(s) to be tested must have had access (combination to the safe, etc)

You must have a reasonable suspicion of the person(s) you want to test. Access alone is not enough. Did the money go missing and the employee didn’t come to work for three days after? Do you have knowledge that this person has been having financial difficulties? These type things are what you will need to establish for reasonable suspicion.

Fulfilling these requirements are important, but also fairly easy. There is a good chance you have already fulfilled most or even all of them prior to considering polygraph testing.

To make the process of including polygraph as part of your investigation smooth and easy, we have compiled an Employee Theft Polygraph Packet with employer instructions and all necessary forms.

For the sake of your honest employees and a healthy bottom line, take steps now to solve your employee theft problems.

When you are ready to begin polygraph or have more questions, please call us at anytime at 1-800-497-9305.

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Answers to seven of the most common questions about polygraph testing for business losses.

I want to know about any other thefts going on in my business and I don’t want to discriminate against any one employee, so can I have all my employees tested?

As reasonable as it may sound to try and ‘clean house’ and discover all forms of employee theft, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) law does not allow for blanket polygraph testing with good reason. The law is quite clear that you can only test employees who had BOTH access to what was stolen AND for who you have established a ‘reasonable suspicion’ that they did in fact commit the theft.

The fewer employees tested, the more trust is maintained. Guilty employees don’t feel accused when asked to take a polygraph because they know they are guilty, however, when innocent employees are asked to take a polygraph test, they feel accused and as though the boss doesn’t trust them. The law actually does a good job of limiting suspicion to where it is needed and this helps maintain overall employee morale during the investigation.

Can the polygraph testing be done at our business since the employees are there everyday anyway?

As a general rule, testing is better conducted at a different location than the business location. A few reasons for this are:

1. Whether an employee being tested is guilty or innocent, having to go into a polygraph test in front of all the other employees can cause unnecessary embarrassment.

2. If multiple employees are being tested on the same day, I can assure you they will gossip with each other before, during and after the tests which can undermine the overall investigation. Having individual appointments unknown to the other examinees at an off-site location is always preferable.

3. Experience shows that taking the employees to be tested outside of their natural working environment for the polygraph test brings a higher level of cooperation and sharing of information.

How much do the tests cost and is there a discount if several employees need to be tested?

Since there is no way to shorten or give a partial polygraph test, an examiner’s fees cannot be made up in ‘volume’ . Each test requires the examiner to spend 1 1/2 – 3 real man hours, therefore each test carries its own fee. Our testing fees vary per exam depending on complexity. See our pricing page for specifics. Call to discuss pricing.

When will I be able to get the results of the polygraph tests?

The results can be given verbally immediately after finishing the last employee polygraph test. A written report will follow 2 -3 business days after.

If the first employee tested fails and confesses to the theft, can I cancel the remaining polygraph tests?

Yes, you can, but I would not suggest it. Having more than one employee involved in theft is commonplace, as is one employee covering for another. If you established reasonable suspicion, there is probably a good reason for that and it is suggested that you follow through with testing all reasonable suspects.

Since time has already been committed, there are no refunds on canceled tests or no shows.

Can I fire the employees who failed the polygraph test based solely on those results?

No. But you can fire them based on the results of the polygraph IF you also have supporting evidence and IF you let the employee know in writing that you are firing them based on all of the evidence, not just the polygraph alone.

Bottom line. The polygraph is only one aspect of the overall investigation and should be considered as such when taking action against any employee.

** Even though this will keep you in compliance with the federal EPPA law, its wise to receive counsel on any nuances with state labor laws before taking action.

Can I fire an employee who refuses to take the polygraph test?

Yes and No. Any person or employee always has the right to refuse to take a polygraph test. However, if you have established reasonable suspicion that this employee was involved in the theft, then you can fire them for non-cooperation and insubordination if they refuse to take the polygraph. Why? Because in reality, you are not firing them for not taking a polygraph, but rather due to the supporting evidence and the fact they are choosing to not cooperate in your investigation. No one realizes more than me that what I just told you was a matter of semantics rather than substance. But when it comes to the EPPA law, it is important to do and say things in the right way to avoid the risk of retaliation by a vexed employee.

** Even though this will keep you in compliance with the federal EPPA law, its wise to receive counsel on any nuances with state labor laws before taking action.

If you wish, you can read our complete list of frequently asked questions.

Contact us at anytime at (800) 497-9305 to discuss polygraph testing for your case.

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