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Polygraph Test: Will I get fired if I refuse Watch

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    I am a 1st year 18 year old apprentice working at an electrical company. Recently our company got accused of stealing something valuable from a house we were working in. Our boss does not believe any of us done it but the council have asked us all to take lie detector tests to make sure. Now my question is: if I refuse can I get fired?

    Before you ask, I am innocent, I didn't do it. However I am not ok with taking a lie detector test. There is a lot of **** going on in my life at the moment (money problems, getting evicted etc) which is stressing me out and now the fact that we have to take a lie detector test is stressing me out even more. I do not want to take a test in the fear that it is wrong (because they aren't actually 99% accurate they are inaccurate) because of my stress levels and therefore take the fall for something I didn't do. On top of that, I left my previous job because there wasn't trust between me and my boss. The fact that we have to take a test shows our boss doesn't trust us all completely and I'm not prepared to work under a boss who doesn't trust me. I would much rather leave than do the test. I am under no rights to take the test but if I refuse I will be the main culprit, is that enough grounds to fire me?
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    I don't think they can force you to do the test, but obviously the implications are quite high. The council and your employer may assume that you don't want to do the test because you did it, even if that's not true. If it were me, I'd probably do it, but have a word with your boss and explain that you're stressed, and possibly speak to the person doing the polygraph test if you can. Let them know you're very stressed at the moment, share your concerns with them, and they'll be able to explain how the test works and hopefully make you a bit less nervous about it.
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    (Original post by crywolf_)
    I am a 1st year 18 year old apprentice working at an electrical company. Recently our company got accused of stealing something valuable from a house we were working in. Our boss does not believe any of us done it but the council have asked us all to take lie detector tests to make sure. Now my question is: if I refuse can I get fired?

    Before you ask, I am innocent, I didn't do it. However I am not ok with taking a lie detector test. There is a lot of **** going on in my life at the moment (money problems, getting evicted etc) which is stressing me out and now the fact that we have to take a lie detector test is stressing me out even more. I do not want to take a test in the fear that it is wrong (because they aren't actually 99% accurate they are inaccurate) because of my stress levels and therefore take the fall for something I didn't do. On top of that, I left my previous job because there wasn't trust between me and my boss. The fact that we have to take a test shows our boss doesn't trust us all completely and I'm not prepared to work under a boss who doesn't trust me. I would much rather leave than do the test. I am under no rights to take the test but if I refuse I will be the main culprit, is that enough grounds to fire me?
    I'm not a lawyer, but I would also refuse to take the test. This is a matter for the Police to investigate, not the council. I'd make a formal complaint against them. Are you in a union?
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    The council have told a private company to do lie detector tests on their employees because someone's suspected of theft from a house?

    That's BS, your boss is trying to scare someone into confessing. If something's been stolen, it's a police matter.

    In your situation, I'd do what RogerOxon has already suggested, refuse and get in touch with your union. If you're not in a union I'd contact ACAS for advice.
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    The council have asked for lie detector tests? Who's the MP the honorable Jeremy Kyle? I have a hard time believing that, what are the council involving themselves in this for? This is surely a police matter even if it's council property. Okay the police might want to interview people but using a lie detector test? Farfetched.

    You sure your boss isn't fabricating this in the hope the culprit (if there is one) owns up or "finds" the missing item?
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    The company I work for are sub-contractors for the council. So we basically work for the council and have contracts with them. I'm assuming the council have instructed my boss the carry out the tests or he will lose his contracts with them. Or maybe my boss is just curious if anyone whos working for him is a theif (I would be).
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    (Original post by crywolf_)
    The company I work for are sub-contractors for the council. So we basically work for the council and have contracts with them. I'm assuming the council have instructed my boss the carry out the tests or he will lose his contracts with them. Or maybe my boss is just curious if anyone whos working for him is a theif (I would be).
    Doesn't matter, it's a police issue. It's their job to investigate crime, not the council or your manager.

    Unless it's written into your contract (and I doubt it is), your manager cannot force you to take a polygraph, not can he fire you for your refusal to take one. He needs proof of wrongdoing to be able to discipline you for it. He's probably assuming you're all young and he can pull the wool over your eyes.
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    I'm sure I read somewhere that employers are allowed to fire employees for any reason. If I don't take the test I assume its classed as suspicion of theft and therefore he can dismiss me.
 
 
 
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