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Polk sheriff, lawmakers push for employee polygraphs in businesses dealing with kids

New legislation drafted to protect children from child sex predators

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POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Polk County Sheriff's Office held a news conference on Monday to discuss a bill that would allow private employers whose businesses interact with children to polygraph test potential employees during the hiring process.

The Protecting Our Children Act would amend the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988, which prohibits the use of polygraph tests during hiring, with the exception of law enforcement fields.

According to a release from PCSO, the polygraph testing would help identify child sex predators during the hiring process and allow companies dealing with children to deny employment based on the test results.

Sheriff Grady Judd, U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross R-Fla., and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children teamed up to support the legislation.

"Children are our most precious resource-we need to help private employers to keep them safe," said Judd in a release. "This legislation will help protect children from being victimized by deviant child predators by allowing employers to better screen those who work with children."

Under the proposal, employers would be required to notify job candidates of the polygraph test in advance and inform them of their right to talk with an attorney.

The polygraphs would be optional for employers, so they would be responsible for all the costs associated with the tests.