This article presents the results of statistical analyses performed to assess arbitrators' treatment of cases involving polygraph tests. A determination is made as to whether arbitrators' proclivity to admit polygraph test results has changed over time. Rulings on an employee's right to refuse to take a polygraph test are also investigated. Reasons for the arbitrators' decisions in these cases are also presented.
Analyses of cases during the period 1958-1986 indicate that when polygraph evidence is admitted, it is given little weight, and that arbitrators have not become more likely to admit polygraph evidence in recent times. A review of cases in which employees refused to take polygraph tests indicates that a majority of arbitrators upheld the employee's right of refusal.