Walton v. Roosevelt University

Case Movement

Case Details

  • Case Status: Decided
  • Docket Number: 128338
  • Category: Privacy


An employee of the University brought a class action claiming the University violated various provisions of BIPA by using a biometric time-clock system to scan his fingerprints without first obtaining his informed written consent and by disclosing his biometric information to a third-party payroll service provider without his consent.  An Illinois Appellate panel held that the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) prevents the union employee from usurping the bargained-for dispute resolution requirements in the collective bargaining agreement by first suing the University directly in court. 

November 16, 2022

The Restaurant Law Center and Illinois Restaurant Association filed a brief, arguing that BIPA claims by union employees are preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act.

March 23, 2023

The Court affirmed the appellate court’s holding that Illinois’s BIPA is preempted by federal labor law for plaintiffs who are members of a bargaining unit and covered by a collective bargaining agreement, as argued by defendants and in our amicus brief. It is an unanimous opinion, the Court held that Illinois will follow Seventh Circuit precedent, which had previously held likewise in a couple of cases. Although the Court did not do any independent analysis of the issue, the Court found that the Seventh Circuit decisions governed the case and should be followed because they concern federal law and were reasonable.