Section 204 of the Congressional Accountability
Act (CAA) generally prohibits an employing office from requiring
that lie detector tests be taken by current and prospective employees.
examples of what is prohibited include requiring or requesting
that lie detector tests be taken; using, accepting, or inquiring
about the results of a lie detector test; or firing or discriminating
against an employee based on the results of a lie detector test
or the refusal to take a lie detector test.
There are some limited
exceptions to this prohibition on the use of lie detectors.
For example, those who are involved in intelligence or counterintelligence
activities and have access to top secret information may still be
required to take lie detector tests. The Capitol Police may also
require lie detector tests of its own employees or, as part of an
ongoing investigation, of other covered employees. There are other
specific exceptions to this prohibition regarding theft or access
to controlled substances.
While the general prohibition against lie detector
tests includes the use of electrical and mechanical detectors, it
does not prohibit the use of oral
or written tests. Tests for drugs
or alcohol are also not considered “lie detector”
tests, and may be required of current or prospective employees.