A proposed class action claims Pella Corporation has unlawfully collected employees’ biometric information through job-related temperature scans without providing required disclosures or obtaining proper consent to do so.
Pella is alleged to have violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), a state law enacted in 2008 to protect residents’ biometric information—such as fingerprints, retina and iris scans, voiceprints and scans of hand and face geometries—from unauthorized use by private entities. Per the suit, Pella Corporation collected and stored workers’ facial geometry without fulfilling the BIPA’s strict disclosure requirements.
“Notwithstanding the clear and unequivocal requirements of the law, Defendant disregarded employees’ statutorily protected privacy rights and unlawfully collected, stored, and used employees’ biometric data in violation of the BIPA,” the complaint alleges.
The case claims Pella Corporation’s alleged failure to comply with the BIPA has exposed workers to a heightened risk of identity theft and fraud.
The plaintiff, who worked for the defendant in Illinois, says he was required as part of his job to allow for his temperature to be taken each workday by a device that functioned by scanning his facial geometry. According to the suit, the facial geometry scan was necessary “so that the device could correctly orient itself to take a proper temperature.” The case says the plaintiff’s face was scanned multiple times so the device could build a biometric template that was thereafter used as a means of identification and authentication to track his temperature.
The lawsuit claims, however, that Pella Corporation collected, used and stored and plaintiff’s and other workers’ biometrics without first complying with the BIPA, including by failing to:
Inform the workers in writing of the specific purpose and length of time for which their biometrics were being collected, stored and used;
Provide a publicly available retention schedule and guidelines for when the data would be destroyed;
Obtain a written release from the employees to collect, store and use their biometric data; and
Obtain consent from the workers to disclose, redisclose, or otherwise disseminate their biometric information to a third party.
According to the case, the plaintiff and other Pella employees have “continuously and repeatedly been exposed to the risks and harmful conditions created by Defendant’s violations of the BIPA.”
The plaintiff looks to represent anyone enrolled in Pella’s biometric scanning system who subsequently used a temperature scanning device while working for the defendant in Illinois during the applicable statute of limitations.
Initially filed in McDonough County Circuit Court in March, the lawsuit was removed to the Illinois Central District Court on July 21.
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