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BIPA Hits a Speed Bump
April 21, 2023
A series of Illinois Supreme Court rulings taking an expansive view of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act came to an abrupt halt in February. A decision that a BIPA claim brought by a former employee was preempted by Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act should be seen as a welcome development for employers with employees subject to collective bargaining agreements, according to Gregory Odom, writing on the Baker Sterchi site. It gives them a possible way to avoid BIPA lawsuits in Illinois state court. In March, the Supreme Court looked at BIPA again in an analysis of the relationship between BIPA and federal labor law. It had previously ruled that the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act’s exclusivity provision does not apply to BIPA claims. That allows employees alleging BIPA violations against their employers to file civil suits rather than being limited to filing workers’ compensation claims. The opinion in Walton v. Roosevelt Univ is the first time the Court directly addressed the issue of whether federal labor laws preempt BIPA claims. Now, Odom writes, “if faced with a BIPA lawsuit by a current or former employee subject to a CBA, employers can cite to both Illinois state and federal court opinions to argue for preemption.”
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