Illinois Supermarket Chain Sued for using Biometric Data for Time Clocks
As reported by Supermarket News, Mariano’s, a Chicago-based supermarket chain, is currently facing multiple lawsuits for allegedly violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.
Also known as BIPA, the law, among other provisions, explicitly prohibits any private entity to collect biometric data without the owner’s permission. It also mandates the private entity to protect biometric data within reasonable care.
Former employees of the supermarket chain claim that their employer violated the BIPA when they were required to record their attendance on a biometric time clock without obtaining prior written permission. The plaintiffs also claim that the employer never provided a written document that outlined the specific purpose of data collection, how it will be stored, and how it will be destroyed.
Damages could reach up to 10 million USD or 12.5 million AUD.
The Burden for Biometric Time Clock Users
A lot of businesses favour biometric time clocks for their accuracy. However, unlike company IDs, people can’t request for a replacement fingerprint (or a new iris) if the biometric data fall into the wrong hands. That’s why it wasn’t a surprise that the state of Illinois passed a law that strictly restricts its use. This can prove to be more burdensome than beneficial to any business owner who is using biometric time clocks in their business.
Time Clock Software: Accuracy Without the Hassle
Tanda’s time clock software accurately tracks employee time and attendance without the need for biometric data. The application takes a photo* of employees as they clock in and out and stores it with their digital timesheets. At any time, managers and business owners can review it to verify their attendance. And all employee information is encrypted and stored securely in data centres with best-in-class security protocols.
Biometric time clocks can potentially give your business more problems than benefits in the long run. Switching to a time clock software such as Tanda gives you the accuracy you need for time attendance, plus other features, with zero stress.
Industry Insights |
A Manager’s Guide to Modern Employee Scheduling
When you think of the average American worker, who comes to mind? Did you imagine a waitress on her second shift in a big city bar? Or did you picture a plant worker in an automobile factory? Over 80 million workers aged 16 and above work in these types of jobs and are paid at hourly rates. They represent 58.3 percent of all wage and salary workers. For managers of American businesses, scheduling hourly workers has always been difficult. They need to balance workers’ skills and availability with the requirements of the business. They also need to make sure that the labor cost doesn’t hurt the company’s’ bottom line. In the past, managers had to schedule everything manually. They would draw up the week’s schedule on paper and leave it on a board for the employees to see. In case there were changes, it was difficult to communicate them. And when it came time to pay the employees, each time card would be scrutinized to create paychecks. Even for small companies, all of this would take hours and hours of administrative time. For larger companies, entire departments would be dedicated to the task. Today, managers use a variety of tools to optimize the process. From paper to screen: modern scheduling process Many managers have experienced scheduling employees through simple pen and paper. This manual process involved a considerable amount of time and resources. As a result, they would be spending more time on administrative work than really managing their employees. With the availability of computers, managers have shifted from paper to screen to get the work done. One way that managers do this is through free scheduling templates. A scheduling template can easily be uploaded and shared with employees. A typical scheduling template requires you to input the employee’s name, wage rate, shift start, and shift end. The template will automatically compute how many hours you scheduled them for that week. It will also show you how much you’re going to pay them for these hours. You can distribute this to employees via the Google Sheets sharing service, control their access according to your desired effect, and restrict them to view-only, allow them to comment, or even let them make edits. However, it has several drawbacks. First, because you are scheduling on a Google Sheet, you will be responsible for tracking conflicts. You will need to check if somebody has filed for leave or unavailability on a separate database. It will also not flag you if you’ve scheduled somebody over or under their regular hours. Second, you will need to manually compare this sheet with your time clock data and then use another sheet to compute for pay. Third, it doesn’t keep you updated on changes in US labor laws. It may be a step up from pen and paper, but there is still a considerable amount of administrative work. That’s why many businesses opt for software that can address all this and more instead. Read more: Wage Theft in the US: How to stay compliant with labor laws Taking it to the next level with workforce software A free scheduling template can only give you so much. While some tasks are automated, you still need to do manual scheduling, attendance tracking, timesheets, and communication with employees. With the fast-paced business world, simply getting by with manual scheduling is not going to cut it. Investing in modern employee scheduling will give you unprecedented control over your workforce. It’s not just about getting the schedule out anymore. Now it’s all about making that schedule work for your business. With Tanda’s Scheduling Software, you can save shift templates and set cost schedules to make sure you never go over budget. You will be able to see, in real-time, how much each employee will need to be paid for any shift. You will also be able to publish schedules instantly. Employees will receive their shift via SMS, email, or in-app notification. This is especially useful for cities and states that have already implemented predictive scheduling laws. With Tanda, you will never fail to comply with an advanced shift notice. Read more: Building a Solid Shift: Predictive Scheduling Laws across the US But why stop there? Time and attendance automation technology has come a long way. Tanda’s Employee Time Clock App can be used on any tablet and allow staff to clock in and out, photo verification included. It automatically generates costed timecards that you can export to multiple payroll add-ons like Xero and Quickbooks. That means you don’t need to communicate schedules, monitor attendance, transfer data, or compute for pay. You can do all the tedious administrative work on one platform at a fraction of the time. You can even approve shift swaps, use demand data to adjust staffing levels, and pool tips. The future of the American workforce US employment went up by 213,000 jobs in January 2019. The service-producing industry reported 46,000 new roles. The goods-producing sector reported 35,000 new roles. Employment is robust, and there are plenty of opportunities for hourly workers in America. But this rise in employment and the fact that many workers hold multiple jobs also means managers need to step up. Managers need to upgrade the way they schedule, monitor attendance, and pay employees. The old manual methods are just not going to cut it. Workforce management software like Tanda empowers both managers and employees to grow the business. Managers can spend less time on administrative work and more time training employees. In turn, employees need not worry about missing their shifts or being paid less than they should. Investing in good software eliminates many common management problems. It also improves efficiency, transparency, and sustainability. The future of the American workforce looks bright, and harnessing technology is going to determine which businesses will be able to take full advantage.