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Biometric Privacy Act and Employment Class Actions in 2021: Recent Decisions on Damages and Union Lawsuits

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will provide employment counsel with an update on recent decisions in class actions filed based upon the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (BIPA). The panel will advise on the current status of BIPA claims in Illinois, potential defenses, insurance coverage, what damages plaintiffs may (or may not) seek when pursuing a BIPA claim and how a collective bargaining agreement may affect rights under a BIPA claim. The panel will also address the future of BIPA class action employment litigation.


There remains a significant number of class action filings based upon BIPA. Several recent decisions may impact how employers should alter their defense strategies.

Employers' counsel should be aware that the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that alleging a violation of statutory rights under BIPA is sufficient. An individual does not have to allege an actual injury to qualify as an "aggrieved" person entitled to seek liquidated damages and injunctive relief against collecting biometric data for time-tracking or security purposes. All companies with a presence in Illinois--particularly technology companies--must review their policies and protocols now; simply failing to comply with the statute's requirements can result in claims by affected employees.

Presently, The Illinois Workers' Compensation Act (WCA) and its exclusivity provisions do not bar claims for statutory damages under BIPA. But the Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to resolve, on a certified question, whether the WCA pre-empts BIPA claims in an employment context. There are also unresolved issues relating to the appropriate statute of limitations, and whether contribution claims against biometric time clock vendors are viable.

In addition, the U.S. Northern District of Illinois determined that a collective bargaining agreement preempted workers from pursuing a BIPA action in federal court.

To mitigate the risk of a BIPA claim, counsel to companies should evaluate BIPA compliance, identify any biometric information being collected, and examine disclosures currently in place. Employers should make disclosures easily accessible to employees, understand recent court decisions, and be aware of pending BIPA regulations.

Listen as our expert panel discusses BIPA employment class action decisions and what effect these rulings may have on pending litigation in the future. The panel will provide best practices for creating a compliance program to address future risks.



  1. Illinois Biometric Privacy Act
    1. History of employment class actions
  2. Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp.
    1. Findings
  3. McDonald v. Symphony Bronzeville Park L.L.C.
    1. Findings and status of case before Illinois Supreme Court
  4. Williams v. Jackson Park SLF L.L.C.
    1. Findings
  5. Other open issues and best practices


The panel will review these and other important topics:

  • What is the history of BIPA employment class actions?
  • What are recent court decisions related to BIPA employment claims that may affect pending litigation?
  • How must BIPA plaintiffs address injury?
  • What rights do unions have related to BIPA claims subject to a collective bargaining agreement?
  • What are the best practices that employers should institute to comply with BIPA?


Maatman, Gerald
Gerald L. Maatman, Jr.

Seyfarth Shaw

Mr. Maatman has a primary emphasis in his practice on defending employers sued in employment discrimination class...  |  Read More

Winter, Richard
Richard R. Winter

Holland & Knight

Mr. Winter is a commercial litigation attorney. He has tried cases in Illinois, Texas, Washington, Georgia, Nebraska...  |  Read More

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