I’m pretty devestated right now. I was completely honest on my FBI poly and I failed anyways. I knew they were pseudoscience but I figured they would at least let me take it again. Instead, I was fired today with no notice.
Is there anyway to appeal this? I am a contractor if it matters. I really loved my job and I dont want this to affect my clearance.
Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
Thank you for sharing this very unfortunate news, a useful bit of information for the rest of us.
Most of the stories I’ve heard about FBI polygraph failures (and they do seem to have a one-and-done policy) involve staff applicants who have not started the job yet.
Glad I did not pursue that contractor position with FBI last year!
Having failed an FBI polygraph myself despite having answered all questions truthfully, I fully empathize with you. In my case, it was a pre-employment polygraph, and there was (and still is) no meaningful avenue of appeal.
For current employees and contractors, the situation seems little better in terms of appeal options. There was a case some years ago where an FBI employee (a member of the senior executive service) was suspended (and ultimately terminated) following a failed polygraph examination during which he was accused of having attempted to beat the “test.” In that instance, the FBI’s former senior scientific expert on polygraphy, Dr. Drew C. Richardson, wrote a letter of support for him, details of which you can read here.
Unfortunately, that employee’s appeal was ultimately unsuccessful. In his case, institutional bias against Chinese-Americans was likely a contributing factor. See Jessica Schulberg’s 2016 article about the case, The FBI Insists It Doesn’t Fire People Over Polygraphs. This Man Says It Happened To Him.
I’d be happy to speak or correspond with you confidentially about your experience. We may be able to identify departures from standard practices that might open the door for an appeal. You are welcome to contact me via Signal at (202) 810-2105. Alternative options for private communications are listed here.
One more thing. At this time, it would be advisable to write a memorandum for record documenting your polygraph experience in as full detail as you possibly can, now while it is still fresh in your memory. The FBI has an insidious policy of not recording polygraph examinations. This ensures that there will be no objective record of what transpired in the polygraph suite. So your contemporaneous notes will be of heightened importance.