Skip to main content

Do I have a right to know what my results were for my polygraph?

Fairfax, VA |
Filed under: Employment

I recently took a polygraph and I do not recall the examiner telling me after if I had passed/failed or was inconclusive.We did the post test and during that,I admitted to a situation that took place a few months ago.Then we did the polygraph test and then a post test but I was never told my results.The next day I received an email from the agency/job I was applying for saying I was no longer in the hiring process.I believe it was because of what I was honest about,however the polygraph agency who administered my test and the HR with the agency I applied for will tell me/send me my results.Is there something stating by law I have a legal right to know/have or even just view my results?Some other jobs I intend to apply for ask if I have done a poly before and sometimes ask about the results

Attorney Answers 3


Anytime one chooses to submit to a polygraph, for civil or criminal purposes, one should have an attorney. A lawyer would have clarified the ground rules and properly supervised the test. In the civil context, polygraphs are sharply limited for hiring and other employment purposes. (They can be used for security jobs, for example). The federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act spells out the lawful testing procedure. This law doesn't apply to the federal government or it's agencies. However, many private businesses and government agencies fail to properly comply with the law's procedure even when they are authorized to request a polygraph, and an affected employee can sue for damages. The results cannot be divulged without the employee's permission. The employee has the right to the test results.

The rules are completely different in the criminal context. I am unaware of any requirement that such results must be disclosed to the test taker. In the rare cases wherein I advise a client to submit to a test, the procedure and disposition of the test results are negotiated in advance.

No one, in any context, can be forced to submit to a polygraph.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

5 lawyers agree


Virginia strictly limits the admission of polygraph examinations in court, but with regard to employment there are many other considerations. You should consult with an employment law attorney to answer this question.

To learn about Kevin R. Pettrey, Esq. go to or call 1 (844) 8DEFEND. Please remember that if you find an answer particularly helpful, please mark it as helpful or "best answer" so that the attorneys who volunteer their time to answer these questions have feedback. This answer is only for informational purposes, is not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Every case is different and must be judged on its own unique facts.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

1 lawyer agrees


I would recommend to reach out to the agency that conducted the exam, and request the results, the examiner's notes, his findings, and any videos they took of you. Additionally, try to find out if they allow anybody else to evaluate the results before they submitted it to your potential employer. This is not likely to change your employment situation, but it will give you peace of mind and you will know how this process works for the future employments. I also agree with my colleague that you cannot be forces to take a polygraph.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

3 lawyers agree

Employment topics

Recommended articles about Employment

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics