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marianos-2a.jpg Mariano's

Employee fingerprint scans may cost Kroger affiliate $10M in damages

Mariano’s accused of violating stringent privacy law

Mariano’s, a grocer with more than 40 locations throughout the Chicagoland area, is currently facing multiple lawsuits that accuse the company of violating the stringent Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

Damages from one of the cases alone could reach $10 million, according to case records.

Former employees and plaintiffs in individual class action cases, Norman Baron and Thomas Doporcyk, each claim that Mariano’s required employees to scan their fingerprints with a biometric timekeeping device when they clocked in and out of a shift.

The suits also allege that a written explanation to employees that outlined the specific purpose for the collection, a transparent retention schedule, a policy for destroying the data or a timetable for how long providing prints would be necessary was never provided.

In addition, the plaintiffs argue that Mariano’s didn’t obtain written permission from them to use their biometrics before collection was initiated, which is required under BIPA.  

Mariano’s is a banner utilized by Roundy’s Supermarkets Inc., a subsidiary of Kroger Co.

Though Kroger declined to comment, court records show that the co-defendants—Roundy’s and Kronos—deny that they violated the BIPA.

Because the case is a class action, the more than 10,000 employees who have used the Kronos time clock system in question within Illinois state lines may be eligible for restitution.

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