On Thursday, February 2, the Illinois Supreme Court held in Tims v. Black Horse Carriers, Inc., 2023 IL 127801, that the statute of limitations for all claims under the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) is five years. This decision reversed in part the appellate court’s holding that the “catch-all” five-year limitations period would apply to some sections, while only a one-year limitations period would apply to others, depending on whether or not the section relates to publication.
What this means for employers
This holding follows the trend of employee friendly developments in the space of Illinois biometric data privacy. Plaintiff’s attorneys and aggrieved individuals alike who have not brought claims under the Act in fear that they would spend significant money litigating just to be time barred may now feel empowered to move forward with suits. Also, failing to strictly abide by any requirement of BIPA will now subject employers to at least five-years of potential liability for substantial damages recoverable under BIPA.
As judicial interpretations provide more clarity and the list of potential defenses grows smaller, it is more important now than ever for employers to become and remain compliant with BIPA’s requirements. Thompson Coburn LLP’s Labor and Employment team is vigilant in staying up to date on all developments. For any BIPA or work related questions and concerns, please contact Susan Lorenc, Ryan Gehbauer, Zoe Spector, Jeremy Miller, or your Thompson Coburn attorney.
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