Does the Employees’ Compensation Act Bar BIPA Claims? Illinois Supreme Court docket Will Weigh In

The Illinois Supreme Court recently agreed to appeal an appeals court’s decision to determine whether a worker’s claim for damages under the Illinois Biometric Information Protection Act (BIPA) under the exclusivity provisions of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (IWCA) ) is excluded.

In recent years. There have been a significant number of class action lawsuits under BIPA. An important defense for employers defending BIPA lawsuits has been that BIPA will be banned from the IWCA. As early as September, the Illinois Court of Appeal for the First District Court ruled that employees’ BIPA claims under the IWCA had not been ruled out and could be continued. The Illinois Supreme Court will examine whether this defense is warranted and may rule on the significant number of lawsuits, including alleged class actions, filed under BIPA.

In their most recent blog post, Maya Atrakchi and Jason C. Gavejian, lawyers for the Jackson Lewis Privacy, Data and Cybersecurity Practice Group, urge companies to “take immediate action to comply with the law.”

BIPA has class-wide risks for companies with offices in Illinois or with employees or consumers in the state. Biometric privacy should be on corporate radar everywhere, however, as other states have different biometric laws and additional laws have been introduced elsewhere, both at the state and federal levels.

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