Late last month, the Trump International Hotel in Chicago became the latest target hit with a class action lawsuit under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
Gianni Bartucci alleges he and other employees of the luxury downtown Chicago hotel were required to scan their handprints and/or fingerprints each time they clocked in and clock out of a work shift. But according to Bartucci, the hotel violated BIPA by failing to provide prior written notice and obtain prior written release from employees before doing so. Bartucci also alleges the hotel failed to have a publicly available retention schedule and destruction guidelines.
Trump International now faces alleged statutory damages of $1,000 for each negligent violation, and $5,000 for each willful/reckless violation. This means alleged damages between $1,000 and $5,000 each time an employee scanned her or his handprints and/or fingerprints for two (2) to as much as five (5) years.
Takeaway: To help mitigate the risk of a BIPA lawsuit, employers should comply with the following BIPA notice requirements: provide prior written notice to employees that their biometric data is being collected and stored, and the purpose and duration for such uses. Additionally, employers should obtain a written release from the employees that authorizes such uses, and make public a retention schedule and destruction guidelines that details the timeline (no less than three (3) years from the date of the employee’s last interaction with the company) for the eventual destruction of the employees’ biometric data.