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Lie Detector Tests

  • Revised: November 20, 2015
  • Content last reviewed: November 2015

This guide is provided for your information and convenience only. It is not a legal document. For complete information, refer to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and its regulations.

A "lie detector test" means an analysis, examination, interrogation or test that is taken or performed by means of a machine and is used to assess a person's credibility.

For the purposes of the lie detector provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA):

"Employer" also includes a prospective employer and a police governing body.

"Employee" also includes an applicant for employment, a police officer and a person who is applying to be a police officer.

Prohibition of Testing

It is against the law for an employer or anyone on behalf of an employer to directly or indirectly require, request, enable or influence an employee to take a lie detector test.

An Employee's Right to Refuse

An employee has the right:

  • not to take a lie detector test;
  • not to be asked to take a lie detector test; and
  • not to be required to take a lie detector test.

Disclosure

No one may disclose to an employer that an employee has taken a lie detector test, and no one can disclose to an employer the results of a lie detector test taken by an employee.

Use of Lie Detectors by the Police

Nothing in this part of the ESA prevents a person from:

  • being asked by a police officer to take a lie detector test;
  • consenting to take a lie detector test; and
  • taking a lie detector test;

if the test is administered on behalf of a police force in Ontario or by a member of a police force in Ontario in the course of the investigation of an offence.

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