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As class actions brought under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) proceed through litigation, defendants have made a variety of arguments attempting to push courts to define the limits of the somewhat vague statute. The Illinois Supreme Court’s 2019 decision in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp. was the first opinion to provide interpretive guidance of BIPA, and specifically, what type of injury is required for a person to have standing to bring a private right of action under the statute. (We explain BIPA and the Rosenbach opinion here.)
Continue Reading Is BIPA Preempted? – Illinois Appellate Court Considers Workers’ Compensation Exclusivity Question

On July 31, 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law prohibiting Illinois employers from asking job applicants or their previous employers about salary history.

The law amends the Equal Pay Act of 2003, which made it illegal to discriminatorily pay employees on the basis of sex or race. The impetus behind the new salary history amendment is an effort to close the gender wage gap. According to a news release from the governor’s office, women in Illinois earn 79% of what men earn.
Continue Reading Salary History Off-Limits Under New Illinois Equal Pay Law

After Illinois passed its Biometric Information Privacy Act in 2008 (“BIPA”), other states have begun enacting legislation regulating business activities relating to biometric information. Texas and Washington were next, followed by California in 2018. Now, Massachusetts has proposed legislation regulating the use of a consumer’s personal and biometric information.

Bill SD.341, “an Act relative to consumer data privacy,” draws much of its language from the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”), and also has some parallels to BIPA. However, there are several differences between the Bill and BIPA worth noting.
Continue Reading Proposed Massachusetts Consumer Data Privacy Law Takes Lessons From Illinois’ Biometric Law

The Illinois Supreme Court recently handed down its much-anticipated decision in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corporation et al., clarifying what makes someone “aggrieved” and able to bring a claim under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). We have addressed this issue in prior blogs, including here and here. The Supreme Court has now held an individual need not allege some actual injury or adverse effect to be “aggrieved” and have statutory standing. An individual can state a BIPA claim simply by alleging an entity’s failure to follow the statute’s notice and consent requirements.
Continue Reading Actual Injury Unnecessary to Sue Under Illinois Biometric Law

On January 15, 2019, the Supreme Court issued its decision in New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira, where it decided independent contractor truck drivers cannot be forced into arbitration.  The Court’s decision is based on Federal Arbitration Act § 1, which excepts from coverage disputes involving “contracts of employment” with “workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce.” 
Continue Reading SCOTUS Holds Independent Contractor Truck Drivers Exempt from Arbitration Under FAA

On November 20, 2018, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp. and Great America LLC to decide whether a technical violation of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), 740 ILCS 14 et seq., without some additional injury, is enough to give an individual standing to sue under the Act.

As explained in further detail here, BIPA establishes certain notice-and-consent requirements that private entities must follow if they are going to collect, store, and use biometric identifiers and information, such as fingerprints. BIPA also creates a private right of action for individuals who are “aggrieved” by a violation of the act. In recent years, there has been a huge upswing in the number of cases filed under BIPA. The main issue these cases encounter early on is whether a company’s mere technical violation of the notice-and-consent requirements is enough to make a plaintiff “aggrieved,” and therefore have standing to sue, or if additional injury is required.


Continue Reading The Fight Over Standing Under the Biometric Information Privacy Act Continues in Illinois High Court

On August 10, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Baker signed into law a bill regulating non-competes, limiting their enforceability and codifying express requirements they must meet. The law goes into effect on October 1, 2018, and Massachusetts now joins the likes of states such as Utah and Idaho who have also recently passed laws regulating employee non-compete agreements.

The new law, which applies to both employees and independent contractors, generally bans employment-related non-compete agreements in Massachusetts unless they meet certain statutory requirements. Specifically, the agreement must be in writing, signed by both the employer and employee, and state the employee has the right to consult counsel prior to signing. The employer must also provide notice of the agreement to the employee, the form and timing of which depends on when the employee is asked to sign the agreement:
Continue Reading New Massachusetts Law Limits Non-Competes

Following a growing nationwide trend, the Chicago City Council is considering new legislation that would require employers to pay employees for any scheduling changes made with less than two weeks’ notice.  If passed, the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance will go into effect on July 1, 2018, and the city will join the likes of San Francisco, Emeryville, Seattle, and New York, as well as the state of Oregon, which have passed similar laws targeted at giving employees more predictable work schedules.
Continue Reading Chicago Considering Predictive Scheduling: What Employers Need to Know

In recent years, the use of biometrics in business has been growing. In the employment context, for example, some employers use biometric time clocks, which allow employees to “clock in” with a fingerprint or iris scan. Unlike a password or social security number, however, an individual’s biometric identifier or information cannot be changed or replaced if compromised. In the event of a data breach, individuals may have no recourse against identity theft, due to the biologically unique nature of biometrics.
Continue Reading Actual Injury Required to Sue Under Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act

The Seventh Circuit recently held in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc. that a long-term leave of absence, particularly one extending beyond the twelve weeks of leave guaranteed by the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), does not warrant protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).

Raymond Severson was terminated from his job as a fabricator at Heartland after he exhausted his 12-week medical leave under the FMLA and requested to remain off work for several additional months to recover from back surgery. Severson sued Heartland under the ADA, arguing Heartland failed to provide him with a reasonable accommodation—namely, a three-month leave of absence following the expiration of his FMLA leave.
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Holds Long-Term Leave is Not a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA

Since its passage in 2016, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) has increasingly become a valuable tool for employers seeking to enjoin former employees and competitors from misappropriating trade secrets. However, in requests for preliminary injunctive relief, companies often struggle with adequately alleging a likelihood of success on the merits of their claims under both the DTSA and state trade secret laws. A recent case filed in the Northern District of Illinois, Cortz, Inc. v. Doheny Enterprises, Inc., exemplifies this struggle and offers valuable lessons when moving for a preliminary injunction on a trade secret misappropriation claim.
Continue Reading Lessons Learned: Tips on How to Allege and Argue Trade Secret Misappropriation at a Preliminary Injunction Hearing