Former employee brings class action vs Swissport USA over employee fingerprint scans

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Feb 5, 2019

CHICAGO — An ex-employee has filed a class action lawsuit against aviation company Swissport USA, accusing the company of violating her rights and those of other workers' under an Illinois biometrics privacy law, when requiring workers to scan their fingeprints when using a biometric punch clock.

Rashidah Williams, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed a complaint on Jan. 24 in Cook County Circuit Court against Swissport International Ltd. and Swissport USA Inc. for allegedly violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.

According to the complaint, between March and November 2017, Rashidah Williams was employed by Swissport, where she and other employees were required to scan their fingers to "clock in" and "clock out" of work each day. Plaintiff claims defendants used a biometric timekeeping device that captures, collects, stores and uses the workers' fingerprints, which they alleged can expose plaintiff and other members of the class to serious and irreversible privacy risks. 

Williams claims workers were never informed in writing that defendants were capturing, collecting, storing or using their biometric information. 

The plaintiff alleges Swissport failed to provide the required disclosures to inform workers that they were collecting their biometric identifiers and information and failed to inform workers of how long they intended to keep the information.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment for all damages, preliminary and permanent injunction, award all costs, and such further and other relief the court deems just and appropriate. She is represented by Frank Castiglione and Kasif Khowaja of The Khowaja Law Firm in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 19-CH-00973.

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Cook County Circuit Court The Khowaja Law Firm, LLC

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