Old Dominion Freight Company is facing a proposed class action lawsuit in Illinois federal court, alleging that the company’s timekeeping platform unlawfully scanned and retained employees’ fingerprints without their permission. According to the lawsuit filed by John Kararo, the company made workers use a unique “biometric identifier” to log in and out of the time clock system to track hours and attendance, which violates the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
BIPA outlines the definition of biometric identifiers as various types of physical traits, such as retina, iris, hand, face geometry, fingerprint or voiceprint scans. According to this law, private employers are not allowed to gather such information without obtaining prior consent from their employees. Employers are also required to provide employees with written information about the purpose of collecting their biometric data and obtain written consent from them. Additionally, BIPA sets forth specific guidelines for employers to ensure the permanent destruction of this information.
According to Kararo, Old Dominion Freight Company gathered information from its workers without obtaining their consent beforehand, and later attempted to acquire it retroactively by proposing a $500 payment in exchange for signing a claim release form. Moreover, Kararo also claimed that Old Dominion Freight Company has not been deleting workers’ biometric data within three years of their departure from the company, which is a violation of BIPA.
Kararo is aiming to act as the representative for a group of more than 100 past and current workers of Old Dominion in Illinois who have had their biometric data illegally collected by the company. The proposed group claims that they have documented over 5,000 instances where BIPA has been violated, and the total amount of damages is significantly higher than the $5 million limit required to take the case to federal court. Kararo is seeking a court order that would require the company to permanently erase the data once it is no longer needed and award damages to both him and the proposed class.
If you believe that your employer has violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), it is important to take action to protect your rights. The knowledgeable attorneys at Fitapelli & Schaffer can provide you with a free consultation to discuss your situation and determine if you have a case. They have extensive experience in handling BIPA claims and can guide you through the legal process to recover damages on your behalf. Contacting the attorneys at Fitapelli & Schaffer can help you hold your employer accountable for violating your privacy rights and ensure that they comply with the law going forward.