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Honesty Testing


Under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, the use of honesty testing (lie detectors) in employment is either unlawful or highly regulated. Furthermore, employers may not discriminate against a person who refuses to take an honesty test or objects to its use.

The statute of limitations for filing a complaint is 300 days from the date the action was taken or the individual was made aware the action was taken.

What actions are covered?

Specifically, the law prohibits discrimination in:


An employer may request that an employee take an honesty test in connection with an investigation involving economic loss or injury to a business if the employee is a reasonable suspect. Honesty tests can be used by law enforcement agencies and by certain businesses that provide security services, alarm systems, or who manufacture, distribute or sell controlled substances.

Employee and Applicant Rights

Legally permissible honesty testing is subject to strict safeguards. Specifically, an examinee's rights include proper notice of a test to be administered, advance written notice of the questions to be asked, and the right to discontinue the test at any time. Additionally, employers may not use a refusal to take an honesty test or the results of an honesty test as the sole reason to take adverse action against an employee or job applicant.

Posting Requirements

Employers who use honesty testing must display a poster explaining employee rights under the law.

For more information