What do you need in your HR toolbox that Facebook, Google, United Airlines, Snapchat, and Shutterfly wish they would have had? You may not know it yet, but a biometric information policy could be standing between you and millions of dollars in liability.
Illinois passed the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) in 2008 to regulate the collection and use of biometric information. Biometric information includes any personally unique physical characteristic used to identify an individual, including fingerprints, hand scans, and retinal scans. BIPA permits an Illinois resident to sue any entity that collects his or her biometric information without following BIPA’s notice, disclosure, and consent provisions. Washington and Texas have passed similar laws, and legislation in other states is on the horizon.
A grocery store chain and its timeclock manufacturer that used fingerprint-enabled time clocks without following BIPA’s disclosure and consent provisions are currently facing a lawsuit that could cost them up to $10 million in damages. If you use or are considering using fingerprints, hand scans, or other biometric information to track or identify your employees, consult with myHRcounsel to ensure that you have an up-to-date, legally compliant policy that protects you and your employees.