IS HANDWRITING ANALYSIS LEGAL?
In United States v. Dionisio, 410 U.S. 1, 41 LW 4180 (1973), the Supreme Court held that the physical characteristics of a person's voice or handwriting, or facial characteristics, being constantly exposed to the public view, are not within the protection of the Fourth Amendment.
In Gilbert v. California, 388 U.S. 263 (1967), the Supreme Court held that the compelled production of handwriting exemplars, does not violate the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Moreover, the Court stated: "A mere handwriting exemplar, in contrast to the content of what is written, like the words or body itself, is an identifying characteristic outside (Fifth Amendment) protection."
In United States v. Sydney W. Rosinsky, FR. P249 F2d No. 2, March 7, 1977, the Court held that "handwriting is behavior in public - no intrusion into privacy."
Employees and applicants should be made aware that human resource decisions will not be based solely on the handwriting analysis results. Provide a written statement that "the analysis results will be used in conjunction with other data, observations and hiring tools."
As viewed by the Federal Courts, handwriting is considered public domain and obtaining consent is not mandatory. However, obtaining written consent is recommended as the most prudent policy.
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