Alan S. Wernick Weighs in on BIPA and Collective Bargaining Agreements


In the March edition of the American Bar Association’s Month-In-Brief: Internet Law & Cyber-Security, Aronberg Goldgehn’s Alan S. Wernick shared insights on a recent Illinois Supreme Court decision relating to the Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) and collective bargaining agreements.

In the article titled, “Employer’s Defense Against BIPA Class Action Lawsuits – Collective Bargaining Agreements,” Alan describes the Walton v. Roosevelt University case, in which the defendant asked the court to reconsider an adverse ruling on the defendant’s motion. The trial court rejected the motion to reconsider, but it did certify the question of “Does Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (29 U.S.C.[ ] § 185 [(2018)]) preempt (Biometric Information Privacy Act] claims ( 740 ILCS 14/1 [(West 2018)]) asserted by bargaining unit employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement?”

In short, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed that unionized employees are not prohibited from seeking redress for a violation of their right to biometric privacy held under BIPA. Rather, these employees must first pursue these rights through the grievance procedures in their collective bargaining agreements before bringing their case to court.

Alan states that employers using, or planning to use, biometric devices in the workplace must understand the biometric privacy legislation and case law applicable to the appropriate jurisdictions. He urges attorneys to be alert and proactive when speaking to clients who mention they are considering using biometric devices.

Read the full article here.

Alan is a business transactions attorney and advocate, with a background in accounting and technology, who focuses on matters of information technology, privacy/cybersecurity and intellectual property law. His in-depth experience as a seasoned legal counselor and advocate, arbitrator and mediator and as a bridge builder among business, technology and intellectual property communities is well respected by individuals across professional industries.

225 W. Washington St.Suite 2800Chicago, Illinois 60606

301 S. County Farm RoadSuite AWheaton, Illinois 60187