force is not endangered or distressed by the hiring of dishonest or counterproductive employees.
Professionally developed preemployment honesty tests do not appear to infringe on the privacy rights of job applicants. Twenty-one privacy issues were reviewed, and strategies for ensuring that honesty testing is an acceptable loss control procedure were furnished. Honesty tests are one of many loss control programs that can help companies control their theft-related losses and better avoid negligent hiring lawsuits. Honesty tests need to be job relevant, appropriately administered, valid, and fair. They should comply with all relevant legal and professional standards for psychological tests. Finally, many workplace privacy issues (e.g., inappropriate search and seizure, wrongful discharge, random and unannounced testing) are not relevant to preemployment honesty tests.
Companies should make sure they use professionally developed and validated honesty tests and not "overnight" tests that might have been developed by companies trying to capitalize on the demise of the polygraph. The paper-and- pencil honesty testing industry spans more than 40 years ( Ash, 1988), and there are a number of psychological test publishers that market professionally developed, scientifically sound honesty tests. In an age where companies must control theft-related losses while avoiding privacy-related lawsuits, preemployment honesty testing programs appear to be an acceptable strategy on both fronts.
American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, & National Council on Measurement in Education ( 1985). Standards for educational and psychological testing. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Ash P. ( 1987). The legality of preemployment inquiries. Park Ridge, IL: London House.
Ash P. ( 1988). A history of honesty testing. Paper presented at the 96th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Atlanta.
Association of Personnel Test Publishers ( 1990). Model guidelines for preemployment integrity testing programs. Washington, DC: APTP.
Decker K. H. ( 1987). Employee privacy law and practice. New York: Wiley.
Decker K. H. ( 1989). Employee privacy law and practice ( 1989 Supplement). New York: Wiley.
Division of Industrial-Organizational Psychology ( 1980). Principles for the validation and use of personnel selection procedures. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: American Psychological Association.
Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 ( 1988). Public Law 100-347.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ( 1978). "Adoption of four agencies of uniform guidelines on employee selection procedures". Federal Register, 43, 38290- 38315.