What the people say about…Lie detectors to determine honesty

This week we asked the man/woman in the street if lie detectors should be used at workplaces to determine honesty and if they would be prepared to take a test

20090316altheaAlthea Edwards, Self-employed: ‘I don’t think that any company should be allowed to give their employees lie detector tests. If I were an employee at such a company my decision to take the test would depend on what sort of questions I was asked initially to determine if I was telling the truth. I would refuse to take that test if questions about my sexual orientation or anything personal were asked because to me it would mean a violation of my privacy. ‘

20090316rampersaudS. Rampersaud, Businessman: ‘I believe that lie detectors should be used at work places to determine whether an employee is telling the truth. While employer/employee trust is there certain precautions must be taken to ensure that a company runs smoothly. I would take the test because I would understand why my employer was doing it.’

20090316eonEon Andrews, Public Sector Employee: ‘No, workplaces should definitely not subject their employees to lie detector tests. I would not take such a test to let them determine my honesty. As far as I know there is no legislation locally or internationally which stipulates that companies have a right to do this. To me a lie detector test is like an HIV test, it’s not mandatory that you take one. It’s all about choice. Further more I don’t think that we should let a machine determine our future.’

20090316lavernLavern Hendricks, Teacher: ‘While I’m not sure that workplaces should be allowed to use lie detectors to test their employees’ honesty I know for a fact that those machines are not always accurate. Workplaces are therefore taking a great risk of losing hard working and honest workers. Results are often not one hundred percent accurate and depending on what you’re being asked it can also make you feel as though your privacy is being invaded.’

20090316chabrolJoylyn Chabrol, Public Sector Employee: ‘It is a violation of an employee’s privacy. At least that’s what I think. Well maybe a violation of that employee’s rights rather than privacy, workplaces should not be allowed to use these machines to determine whether or not their employees are telling the truth. I mean maybe using a lie detector might have advantages but I don’t believe that it is capable of giving genuine results at all time. Like most things it is not foolproof so there is no guarantee that it will not malfunction.’

20090316washintonA. Washington, Private Sector Employee: ‘Yes, I think lie detectors should be used at work places to determine honesty. For example if a large company suddenly loses a very valuable item or quantity of money then they will need to ensure that the perpetrator is not among them. I would take such a test. I mean what’s the harm in taking a lie detector test if you know that you’re innocent?’

20090316taiTai Payne, Public Sector Employee: ‘Lie detectors shouldn’t be used to determine honesty at workplaces. It damages the relationship between the company and the employers. Any workplace that subjects their employees to a lie detector test is basically shouting to those people that they don’t trust them. Using lie detectors is a violation of the rights of employees because there is no law stating that workplaces are allowed to use them.’

20090316romelRomel Rambajan, Public Sector Employee: ‘Workplaces should use lie detectors. I think that refusing to take a lie detector test is a clear indication that you have something to hide. Now take for instance if there’s a problem within a banking organization. That bank not only answers to its board of directors but it must also provide answers to its clients who are the most important people. Using lie detectors would help that bank to fish out those involved in the scam and will also aid them in providing the necessary answers. In my opinion, workers who hold key positions in companies should be the ones specifically targeted for such tests.’

20090316joylynJoylyn Graham, Private Sector Employee: ‘Using a lie detector to determine honesty at a workplace can lead to big problems for that organization. I think I would take such a test to prove that I not a guilty party in whatever it is they are investigating but I know I would feel hurt about the whole thing. I mean anyone who has been working with a place for a number of years and giving their all to that organization would feel a way if their honesty was suddenly in doubt.’

20090316laurenceLaurence McKenzie, Self-employed: ‘Sure, I would take a lie detector test to uphold my honour and prove my innocence. Once I know that I didn’t do something then I would have no fear of taking the test. I suppose in the world of business one can never be sure what will go wrong so workplaces should use lie detectors to determine honesty but there is a backlash to doing that. Employees will begin to feel that they are not trusted. Using lie detectors is clearly a bad practice and will not garner good interpersonal relationships between the employer and workers.’