Biometric Screening Legal Issues
The only option employees have when it comes to biometrics is to refuse to provide a fingerprint or facial scan. However, this could very well lead to the loss of a job for an employee. [xlviii] Id. at * 1-2. It should be noted that the $500 surtax was not imposed on employees whose spouses refused to submit to the biometric test. However, companies also take risks when using biometric systems in the workplace. From a legal point of view, the most discussed risk is to come into conflict with one of the biometric information protection laws that apply in different states of the country. These laws typically require specific disclosures to be made to employees prior to the collection, use, or storage of biometric data, and impose heavy penalties on employers who fail to do so. However, it`s also important not to let compliance with data protection laws be the only legal consideration you take before diving into the biometric pool. There are other legal factors you should consider. Take a look at the notice and pay close attention to the section where your insurer may use or share your personal health information. There are many things your insurer can use or share your personal health information on. The only point you need to worry about is for judicial or administrative proceedings.
Simply put, if your insurer receives a court order, subpoena, or subpoena requesting your medical records, your insurer is required by law to comply with that request. “We are already seeing it with the proposed laws across the country,” she said. “I think everyone (consumers, employees, etc.) is increasingly aware and concerned about privacy rights – we can see this with the recent passage of the California Consumer Privacy Act in California – and this is likely to cause employees and consumers to think more critically about where their biometrics go and how it`s used.” The connection of biometrics to time recording systems contributes to an increase in the collection of biometric data in the workplace. Many of today`s time tracking systems offer the ability to record employees` working time by fingerprint, palm, iris or face scan. It also stipulates that biometric data must be destroyed within one year of their collection. The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) is the forerunner of modern biometric privacy laws in the United States. The CIPA was enacted to regulate the collection, storage and use of “biometric identifiers” and “biometric information”. Although the law was enacted in 2008, it remained inactive until 2015, when class action lawsuits were first filed for alleged violations of the law — primarily for violations due to facial recognition features on social media. 1. Health insurance from your employer. Biometric screening results are not only kept by your health insurance provider, but are also reported to the Medical Information Bureau, which can cause you serious problems if you decide to apply for life insurance at a later date. (And we`re talking about life insurance where you`re subject to underwriting criteria).
The lawsuit alleges that Honeywell penalizes employees who refuse biometric screening with costs of up to $4,000 per employee per year. The EEOC claims that biometric checks are illegal because they are required by Honeywell instead of being offered on a voluntary basis. The Commission considers that this is contrary to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). These laws are designed to protect workers with health problems from discrimination and abuse by their employers, as well as from the obligation to undergo medical tests and treatment. “Companies that use biometric time tracking systems should also ensure that their insurance policies cover claims that could fall under biometric privacy laws,” she said. “Companies must also ensure that all third parties with whom they interact and share data, such as payroll companies, comply with applicable laws.” In the past, these compensation provisions applied to situations that had nothing to do with employee privacy, such as wage and hourly lawsuits. In these situations, it would be unusual for a plaintiff not to name both the seller and the employer, or only the employer, as the defendant in the lawsuit.