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Mark S. Zaid, Esq.
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Status Update
Mar 26th, 2001 at 2:21am
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As you may know, there are two ongoing federal lawsuits for 11 former applicants to the FBI, DEA and USSS challenging the use of preemployment polygraphs. The first action, which was filed in March 2000, has been fully briefed in response to the government's Motion to Dismiss (read the latest filing in the reading room). The second action, which was filed in October 2000, should be completed in April. The Court will then either schedule oral arguments or take the pleadings under consideration and eventually issue a written opinion, likely within the next six months.

It is not too late to join the litigation. You need to have been a federal applicant and the withdrawal of the employment offer must have occurred within the last six years. If you wish additional information about joining or assisting the cause, please contact me at ZaidMS@aol.com.

P.S. You can also file complaints with the Office of Special Counsel if you don't want to join the litigation. Contact me about this as well.
  
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R Owens
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Re: Status Update
Reply #1 - Mar 27th, 2002 at 11:04am
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I am new to your site and I was just reading the "status" portion of your board regarding the pending lawsuit. I have been a Police Officer for 6 years and recently applied for a position with a Sheriff's department in Ohio. First, I would like to say that prior to this I have "passed" 3 polygraphs, including one administered by the Ohio Highway Patrol. I was given a polygraph exam by the Sheriff's Department. I had worked 3rd shift the evening before and my exam was scheduled for 8:00 am. As it happened I had an incident occur late in my shift which caused me to arrive approximately 12 minutes late. I explained this to the examiner, who appeared very irritated by this nonetheless. Needless to say I received my letter from the Sheriff's Department and was accused of "significant emotional responses to some of the relevant questions, which could be indicative of deception". When I received this letter, needless to say I was floored. I am a Feild Training Officer, I have received numerous letters of commendation as well as letters of recommendation and I am Nationally Certified Use of Force Instructor. I would just like to say that I happy to see sites such as yours and I have begun to tell everyone I know who is considering or trying for employment in a law enforcement capacity about the inaccuracy and invalidity of the polygraph. Keep up the good work, I believe thorough background investations, psychological exams and a strenuous screening process are far better ways to weed out the "bad apples". I will check back regularly to stay posted...thanks!
  
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Fred F.
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Re: Status Update
Reply #2 - Mar 28th, 2002 at 4:48am
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When I received this letter, needless to say I was floored. I am a Field Training Officer, I have received numerous letters of commendation as well as letters of recommendation and I am Nationally Certified Use of Force Instructor.


Officer Owens,

Welcome to the site,

With the impeccable credentials you have, I too would have not only been floored but insulted that my integrity was compromised by the "pseudoscience of polygraphy".

The fact that you were at work and only a few (10 or so) minutes late for your exam because of an on-duty incident that required your presence only gives the polygrapher an excuse to find you "deceptive". You probably have downloaded and started to explore The Lie Behind The Lie Detector. The knowledge you gain from this reading will give you insight into what the polygrapher does before, during, and after the exam.

Did the polygrapher question you regarding your tardiness during the pre-test interview?

Did the polygrapher interrogate you after the test was over in an attempt to get an admission of guilt regarding any of the relevant questions during the exam that you allegedly had a "significant emotional response" to?

Quote:
I believe thorough background investigations, psychological exams and a strenuous screening process are far better ways to weed out the "bad apples"


You are very correct in this statement. It is a shame that so many LE agencies use the polygraph as the "primary" investigative tool to filter applicants because in their eyes the "accuracy" warrants the expenditure of testing applicants(at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept. polygraphers make $70,000 a year). When you look at failure rates at the LAPD and LASD, it raises a huge RED FLAG about "vaildity" of the test.  

Keep you head up Officer Owens,

Good Luck

Fred F. Wink
  
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Mark S. Zaid, Esq.
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Re: Status Update
Reply #3 - Jul 22nd, 2005 at 1:40am
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The federal polygraph litigation remains active, although half of the plaintiffs have settled their claims by essentially dropping out. The court recently denied our attempt to depose former FBI Director Louis Freeh, although without prejudice.

Each side will be submitting a Motion for Summary Judgment by August 1, 2005. I envision several months of briefing, possibly oral arguments, and then ultimately a decision, hopefully sometime next year.

I apologize if you have contacted me and not received a response. It has been very difficult to respond to all the inquiries and, quite frankly, there is little I can do at this stage. While I am more than willing to take your money (!), it would be a waste for any more victims to join the litigation given the stage we are at. Should we succeed at this next level, then by all means everyone should join! But if we don't, then you would have wasted your time and money for nothing. Essentially whatever decision is obtained in the case that now exists will control because the facts in our case are just as good as any I have heard.

That being said, I could use everyone's help. If you have been denied employment by a federal agency due to the polygraph, whether in part or whole, AND you believe you have lost out subsequent employment at the federal, state or local level due to the initial polygraph results, please contact me ASAP at ZaidMS@aol.com.

Even if you are not in the litigation, you can help. Thanks.

Mark S. Zaid, Esq.
Washington, D.C.
  
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