Candidate Refused Managerial Position After Polygraph Test

Applicant is suing the employer for the refusal, which was based on answers he gave about his personal life.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel is suing an employer and a polygraph testing company after a complaint was filed by a man who was refused employment due to the results of a polygraph test required by the employer.

The lawsuit was presented to Tel Aviv Labor Court earlier this week and seeks damages of NIS 195,000.

The complaint states that a polygraph institution passed answers to the employer that he gave in confidentiality to a series of probing and sensitive test questions.

The lawsuit alleges that at the beginning of 2006, the plaintiff applied for the job and easily passed all of preliminary employment exams. The company's general manager then allegedly told the plaintiff that he would most likely be hired, barring any problems with his lie-detector test.

The lawsuit alleges that during the polygraph testing, the plaintiff was subjected to a number of questions dealing with his personal life, most of which allegedly had little or no relevance to the position for which he was applying. These included questions involving the plaintiff's discharge from army reserves service. The plaintiff was assured that the test was merely to assess his honesty and reliability, and that his answers would be confidential.

The lawsuit also alleges that the plaintiff was asked to sign a release stating that he took the tests under his own free will. The plaintiff initially refused to sign the waiver, but was eventually convinced by the employer, not knowing that his responses would be passed on to the company.

After completing the hiring process, the plaintiff was presented to the company's employees as its new sales manager. That evening, the company's general manager called and informed the plaintiff that he would not be hired after all, because his answers during the polygraph test "were not consistent with the principles of the company and the personality required of a manager."

According to the plaintiff's lawyer, Avner Pinchuk, the decision not to hire the plaintiff was a violation of the equal employment opportunities law, and was made for illegitimate and discriminatory reasons. Furthermore, Pinchuk stated that the personal questions involving the plaintiffs military service were irrelevant and should have played no role in the hiring process.