Illinois Supreme Court Holds Federal Labor Law Preempts Biometric Privacy Act Claims
By Paul V. Esposito
The Supreme Court has held that the federal Labor Management Relations Act preempts claims by unionized employees alleging violations of the Biometric Information Privacy Act. Walton v. Roosevelt Univ., 2023 Ill. LEXIS 128338 (3/23/23). The university required plaintiffs to enroll hand geometry into a timekeeping device that clocks work starts and stops. Plaintiffs alleged that the university violated the Act’s informed-consent provisions for retaining, storing, and disseminating electronic data. Though plaintiffs’ collective bargaining agreement did not refer to biometric data, the broad management-rights clause in the agreement made plaintiffs’ claims subject to the CBA’s grievance procedures as the first resort.