The exclusivity provisions of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act do not preclude a worker's claim for statutory damages for violating her rights under a state biometric secrecy law, an appeals court held Friday.
In McDonald v Symphony Bronzeville Park LLC, Illinois Court of Appeals, Fifth District, agreed unanimously that a class of workers could proceed with their allegations of violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act and their request for statutory damages.
Marquita McDonald filed a class action lawsuit against her employer, Symphony Bronzeville Park LLC, alleging that she had to provide biometric information by scanning her fingerprint for the company's time system. She accused that this requirement violates the privacy law for biometric information by neglecting to collect their biometric information without informing them in advance about the purpose and how long their fingerprints were collected, stored and used. provide a publicly available storage schedule and guidelines for the permanent destruction of biometric data; and receive a written notice from employees before collecting their fingerprints. The class requested injunctions, attorney's fees and statutory damages of $ 1
Symphony Bronzeville dismissed the complaint, arguing that McDonald's claims were prohibited by the exclusivity provisions of the IL Workers Comp Act, which were denied. of a circular court. The company then sought clarification and certified a case to the Illinois Court of Appeals.
The Court noted that the Legislature adopted the Privacy Act, adopted in 2008, to regulate the "collection, use, protection, handling, storage, storage and destruction of biometric identifiers and information" and provides a private right of action for those affected by a violation of the act, along with liquidated damages of $ 1,000 or actual damages for negligent violations and $ 5,000 for intentional violations.
The court ruled that it failed to see how an employee's claim for damages under the Secrecy Act "represents the type of damage that categorically fits within the Compensation Act."
As a result, the court of law confirmed the issue in the negative and referred the case back to the district court.