Local News in Brief : Lie Detector Firm Loses Court Test

A federal judge in Los Angeles has ruled that private polygraph operators have no right to challenge the constitutionality of a new law restricting employers’ use of lie detector tests to hire and screen workers.

In issuing the ruling, U.S. District Judge Irving Hill dismissed a lawsuit by Professional Security Consultants, a Los Angeles firm that challenged the federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act, which took effect Dec. 27.

Hill said the company had no standing, based on Supreme Court rulings, to challenge the law because it does not directly regulate the polygraph industry.

“What (company owner Chris Gugas) is really claiming is an indirect . . . economic injury to him based on the statute’s allegedly improper regulation of others,” Hill said.


Gugas said the ruling has left his industry “out in the cold” by upholding a law that has hurt polygraph operators financially. At least 40 companies performing pre-employment lie detector tests have gone out of business across the country and all such firms are threatened, he said.