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|Biometric privacy claims
not barred by workers' compensation act
McDonald v. Symphony Bronzeville Park
Sent to Custom Alerts™ subscribers on 02/03/2022
It is a
familiar rule that physical and psychological work injuries are
compensable under the workers' compensation act, that the workers'
compensation act is the exclusive remedy for such injuries, and
that therefore an employee cannot successfully sue in court for a
remedy for such injuries.
What about alleged violations of the
Biometric Information Privacy Act? The Illinois Supreme Court says
those claims can be brought in court, and the workers'
compensation act is NOT the exclusive remedy.
a violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act when the
employer collected employees' fingerprints without following the
statutorily prescribed protocol.
The court said, "The personal
and societal injuries caused by violating the Privacy Act's
prophylactic requirements are different in nature and scope from
the physical and psychological work injuries that are compensable
under the Compensation Act.
"The Privacy Act involves
prophylactic measures to prevent compromise of an individual's
biometrics. *** McDonald's loss of the ability to maintain her
privacy rights was not a psychological or physical injury that is
compensable under the Compensation Act.
appellate court correctly held that a Privacy Act violation is not
the type of injury that categorically fits within the purview of
the Compensation Act and is thus not compensable under the
Compensation Act. ***
"Moreover, the plain language of the
Privacy Act supports a conclusion that the legislature did not
intend that the Privacy Act would be preempted by the Compensation
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