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Can Employers Require You To Give Biometric Data?

HomeBlogCan Employers Require You To Give Biometric Data?
November 16, 2022

Biometric data is something you’ve come across; you just didn’t know its proper name.

Biometric data is the data that employers use to track their employees. This includes everything from fingerprint scans to facial recognition.

Employers often use this information to cut down on repeat processing tasks. Instead of checking an employee’s timecards, they can use facial recognition to see when they arrived at work.

But, should employers expect biometric data to be a requirement? What if employees don’t feel comfortable using this type of data? Speak to an experienced employment law attorney about your rights today.

Benefits Of Using Biometric Data

With employers, the benefit of using biometric data is pretty clear: less paperwork. The amount of paperwork and simple errors can be reduced if employers use biometric data. If an employer wants to check an employee’s timecard, they can review their fingerprint scans instead of manually reviewing them. With a fingerprint scan, you don’t have to worry about an employee’s time accuracy.

Employee’s Right To Privacy

But employees have rights when it comes to biometric data. Their main right is their right to privacy. Employees have the right to consent before using biometric data. An employer is also responsible for protecting each employee’s confidentiality. It is also unlawful for employers to sell or transfer the employee’s biometric data.

Discrimination

Another unlawful action that employers can commit with biometric data is discrimination.

If the employer requests an employee to submit their biometric data before employment, it is easier for them to discriminate against the employee.

Legal Consequences

It can cost employers so much when they violate their employees’ data privacy requirements.

As a company, you have a legal duty to install reasonable security standards for personal data. Failing to protect your employees’ biometric data can leave you open to a class action lawsuit. You can be liable for statutory incidents ranging from $100 to $750 per consumer per incident.

How Can Employers Reduce The Risks?

Employers want to ensure they manage the risks associated with using biometric data.

Some of the steps that employers can take include:

  • Creating a written privacy policy describing the types of biometric data used and how it will be used.
  • Obtain written consent from employees before collecting their biometric data.
  • Provide written notice to employees when biometric data will be used and collected.
  • Create confidentiality, storage, and data security measures internally and with third-party vendors.
  • Negotiate reimbursement agreements that allow your company to be reimbursed in case of a data breach.

Speak To An Experienced California Employment Lawyer Today

You have legal options when your privacy has been violated in a data breach. At Olivier & Schreiber LLP, our experienced employment lawyers want to help you protect your rights and interests.

You have the right to protect your privacy and know how your biometric data is used. Send a message via our contact form to schedule your consultation to find out how our employment lawyers can help you exercise your rights.

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