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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Southwest Airlines Co. employees file suit over biometric information

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Jan 24, 2018

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CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) – Current employees of an airline company allege that their biometric identifiers are collected, captured and stored without informed written consent.

Jennifer Miller, Scott Poole and Kevin England, individually and on behalf of a class of all other similarly situated, filed a complaint on Nov. 27 in the Cook County Circuit Court against Southwest Airlines Co. over alleged violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that as employees of defendant, they are required to provide their biometric information, such as a scanned fingerprint, to identify and track their work time. However, plaintiffs allege they were not informed in writing that their biometric information was being captured, collected, stored or used and were not provided any retention schedule and guidelines for permanently destroying the biometric identifiers that defendant collects. 

The plaintiffs hold Southwest Airlines Co. responsible because the defendant allegedly failed to comply with the BIPA's mandatory notice, release and policy publication requirements.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek award of statutory damages, attorneys' fees, costs, litigation expenses, pre- and post-judgment interest and such further relief as the court deems just and equitable. They are represented by Steven A. Hart, Robert J. McLaughlin, Brian H. Eldridge and Kyle Pozan of Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge LLC in Chicago.

The defendant removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on Jan. 5.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois case number 1:18-cv-00086

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U.S. District Court for the Northern District of IllinoisHart McLaughlin & Eldridge, LLC