Do EMT's get Polygraphed?

Chall09

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Somebody told me the other day that in order to get hired as an EMT Basic, or firefighter, you have to be polygraphed.

I am unsure if this person knew what they were talking about so I would appreciate it if someone would set the record straight on this.

I live in Ohio if that matters.

-Chall09
 

Dominion

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Service. city, and state dependant. Not everyone requires one. Seems to be common in govt. services.
 

Linuss

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Unless it's for a government job or contract, armed security, or a few other exceptions such as distributing controlled substances, it is a violation of FEDERAL law to even ask a prospective employee to do a polygraph.


Since you're an EMT, you will not be distributing a controlled substance.
 

akflightmedic

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http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/eppa.htm

Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (EPPA)
(29 USC §2001 et seq.; 29 CFR Part 801)

Who is Covered

The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) applies to most private employers. The law does not cover federal, state, and local governments.
 

medicdan

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It has been illegal since the early '80s for employers (except certain arms of the federal government) to conduct pre-employment polygraph screenings. They have been proven not to truly measure guilt or innocence and are inadmissible in court (consider looking up the work of Saxe et al at the Congressional Office of Technological Assessment, from ~1983).

For a more scholarly answer, take a look at http://www.emtlife.com/showthread.php?t=13571
 

daedalus

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Illegal to do in most cases, with a notable exception of certain federal and state law enforcement agencies.
 

EMSLaw

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Of course, nothing stops them from doing a very thorough backround check, especially in the case of a paramedic who has regular, easy access to a number of controlled dangerous substances.
 

Dominion

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It has been illegal since the early '80s for employers (except certain arms of the federal government) to conduct pre-employment polygraph screenings. They have been proven not to truly measure guilt or innocence and are inadmissible in court (consider looking up the work of Saxe et al at the Congressional Office of Technological Assessment, from ~1983).

For a more scholarly answer, take a look at http://www.emtlife.com/showthread.php?t=13571
Does this include state/govt. jobs? Such as the city service here requires a polygraph for any employee that wants to work for them. The last time I went through their interview process (Feb), I was told if I passed the interview panel the next step was a polygraph. I have not read that post you linked, I will read and edit/reply :)
 

EMSLaw

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Does this include state/govt. jobs? Such as the city service here requires a polygraph for any employee that wants to work for them. The last time I went through their interview process (Feb), I was told if I passed the interview panel the next step was a polygraph. I have not read that post you linked, I will read and edit/reply :)
I have worked for several state agencies and have never been polygraphed. Anecdotally, it seems to be more common at the Federal level and for law enforcement positions. Police applicants are frequently polygraphed, for example.
 

medicdan

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Does this include state/govt. jobs? Such as the city service here requires a polygraph for any employee that wants to work for them. The last time I went through their interview process (Feb), I was told if I passed the interview panel the next step was a polygraph. I have not read that post you linked, I will read and edit/reply :)
Unsure. Ask local government, or seek legal council. Ideally, per the research, no, but I'm not sure what the ground realities are.
 

Dominion

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Unsure. Ask local government, or seek legal council. Ideally, per the research, no, but I'm not sure what the ground realities are.
This is what I keep seeing, it's all a gray area. Next time I apply for them I might do that and seek government advice or legal council. I've taken a polygraph once and I just naturally get extremely nervous when people ask me questions to which I know the answers are true. I didn't do well on the polygraph, despite all the answers being true. This was for a justice admin/forensics full year course in HS, we had a proctor come in for demo purposes.
 

Agent_J

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Wow. I haven't heard of this kind of protocol in the hiring process here in CA. If you do have to do this in CA I wouldn't be surprised as this state is so lock down with a bunch of stuff.

I know I've taken it twice before with CHP and San Francisco PD, but the scope of work is different.
 

Akulahawk

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Outside some very specific exceptions (government positions, security firms, controlled substance), Polygraphs can not be administered for employment purposes. Those exceptions can be found on a typical job rights poster...
 

akflightmedic

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Guess no one read the link I posted...

Yes, government entities which includes TOWNS, CITIES, COUNTIES, STATES and other FEDERAL jobs can polygraph and yes it is legal.

There are many cities and counties in Florida which polygraph as part of their screen process.

There are some that stopped and now use voice stress analysis as well.
 

EMSLaw

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There are many cities and counties in Florida which polygraph as part of their screen process.

There are some that stopped and now use voice stress analysis as well.
All the scientific reliability of polygraphs, but now with more voodoo! ;)
 

akflightmedic

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I never said I agreed with them...and I am well versed in the unreliability of them. They are too subjective as a polygraph does NOT determine a lie or a truth, despite what TV shows.

It merely reads some of your bio signs and it is up to the polygrapher to make the determination by putting what the machine says together with what he observes and make a final ruling. Total bollocks!
 

EMSLaw

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I never said I agreed with them...and I am well versed in the unreliability of them. They are too subjective as a polygraph does NOT determine a lie or a truth, despite what TV shows.

It merely reads some of your bio signs and it is up to the polygrapher to make the determination by putting what the machine says together with what he observes and make a final ruling. Total bollocks!
Right - they ask control questions to get a baseline, then they compare the output to that baseline when they ask you the more 'difficult' questions.

Of course, when they ask, "Have you ever stolen anything?" and you start thinking, "What about that candy bar I didn't pay for in sixth grade?" your nervous reactions spike and your answer may be deemed untruthful. They apparently try to control that by asking the same question multiple ways.

But I'm in agreement - bullpuckey pseudo-science. Legally, they fail the two controlling tests for scientific reliability (the Daubert and Fry standards, if anyone is interested), though they can be used in court, at least in my home state, in certain, very limited circumstances.
 

medicdan

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If you read the study I cited, you will see they just DONT WORK! If I could convenice you my magic penlight read your brain signals, and can tell when you are lying, and you believe me, and get scared, I can claim it is a lie detector. Just like a kid can lie to a parent with a straight face, the polygraph is EASILY fooled, by mental conditoning. Hey, plus, if you believe what you are saying is true, the machine will think you are truthful...
 
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