Aramark facing fingerprint BIPA case
10 November 2017 10:23 GMT

Food and other vendor services firm Aramak has been accused of not properly handling the process of scanning and managing their employees’ fingerprints to log employees’ work hours.

On Nov. 7, attorneys with the firm of Werman Salas P.C., of Chicago, filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court against Aramark on behalf of named plaintiff Joseph Cintron, seeking to also expand the lawsuit to include a class of at least 500 workers, if not more, who also have worked for Aramark in Illinois since 2014.

The lawsuit alleges Aramark in recent years required employees to scan their fingerprints into a company database so the company could track their hours worked for payroll purposes. Essentially, the employees would scan their fingerprints on company punch clock devices when they would begin a work shift, end a shift, punch out for meal breaks or otherwise go off the clock.

Employers have increasingly used such systems in recent years, rather than time cards, swipe cards or keypads into which employees would enter an identification number, to more efficiently and accurately log employee work hours, while decreasing incidences of fraud, such as someone other than the employee punching the clock to make it appear an absent employee was working.

Since 2008, however, when Illinois lawmakers enacted the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act, the state has increased regulations on businesses that collect and store so-called biometric identifiers, such as fingerprints, retinal scans and other identifying physical characteristics, for either customers or employees.