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Halifax to conduct review of use of polygraph tests for job applicants

(The Canadian Press) HALIFAX, N.S. — The Halifax Regional Municipality is conducting a review of the way it uses lie detectors to screen applicants for certain jobs.

Mayor Peter Kelly said he called for the review after the Halifax Chronicle Herald quoted a job applicant saying she was humiliated by questions during a recent polygraph test, including one asking whether she had sex with animals.

The woman, who has asked not to be identified, was applying for a position with the municipality's information technology division.

She said she did not get the job.

"They didn't leave any stones unturned," the woman said. "I was told I'm not suitable."

The municipality says it requires police officers, firefighters, bylaw officers, animal control workers and anyone applying for a civilian job on the police force take a polygraph test.

Other questions appearing on the 40-page test ask about tax fraud, domestic disputes, illicit sex, drug use and suicidal thoughts.

"HRM is conducting a full review of the recruitment process, and the means by which those services were procured," said Dan English, the municipality's chief administrative officer.

"HRM's main concern is the integrity of the process."

The Nova Scotia Union of Public and Private Employees has filed a grievance on behalf of two city workers who were turned down for new jobs after taking a polygraph test.

The grievance has been referred to arbitration.

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