Plaintiffs’ Bar Has Discovered Illinois’ Biometric Law, and the Consequences Could Be Severe
Join Sonya and Bill, who have advised multiple employers on BIPA and recently authored an article on the law in Chicago SHRM, for this timely one-hour workshop to delve into BIPA and review steps employers should be taking now to help ensure compliance and avoid costly litigation.
In the past few months, class-action litigation under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) has exploded. Multiple major employers with Illinois operations have been hit with class action lawsuits alleging improper collection and storage of biometric data such as facial scans and fingerprints. Indeed, in just the last few days alone, two more companies became the latest targets of BIPA suits, with claims of improper use of biometric time clocks that scan employees in and out for work using their fingerprints. The factors that make BIPA so dangerous for employers, and so lucrative to plaintiffs’ counsel, are:
the ease with which violations might be proven, given BIPA’s strict compliance mandates; and
hefty statutory fines – i.e. $5,000 for each willful violation, and $1,000 for each negligent one.
In a class-action claim covering all of a company’s employees, seeking separate statutory violations for each person, the damage figures quickly go through the roof. With biometric technology on the rise, many employers are vulnerable. The good news is that BIPA is not difficult to understand, and employers can comply with the law fairly easily, once they know about the law’s requirements and if and how these affect the business.