This federal law established guidelines for polygraph testing and imposed certain types of restrictions on most private companies and employers in regards to testing their employees. This legislation only affects commercial businesses. Local, State and Federal governmental agencies (such as police departments) are not affected by the law, nor are public agencies, such as a school systems or correctional institutions. In addition, there are exemptions in EPPA for some commercial businesses as follows:
- Companies under contract with the federal government
- Companies which manufacture, distribute or dispense controlled substances
- Armored Car or Alarm and Security Companies
- Nuclear or Electrical Power Plants
- Public Water Works
- Toxic Waste Disposal
All other commercial companies and businesses can request a current employee to take a polygraph examination or suggest to such a person that a polygraph examination be taken, only when specific conditions have been satisfied. However, the employer cannot require current employees to take an examination, and if an employee refuses a request or suggestion, the employer cannot discipline or discharge the employee based on the refusal to submit to the examination.