Maschoffs Biometric Lawsuit Dismissed

By Benjamin Cox on July 13, 2022 at 5:02pm

The region’s largest pork producer had a lawsuit dismissed in federal court on Monday alleging they had violated the state’s biometric privacy law.

A federal lawsuit filed in late September 2021 in U.S. District Court in Springfield by Rene Reyes, a former employee, against The Maschhoffs LLC asked for class-action status challenging the producer’s practice of requiring biometric identifiers “to clock in and clock out by scanning their employees’ fingerprints into a scanning machine.

The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act allows use of such equipment, but requires employees to be notified and provide written consent to collect and store biometric information such as fingerprints. The law also stipulates biometric data must be securely stored and details about how data is handled and destroyed must be disclosed. In December 2021, the pork producer argued in response that the complaint against its time-tracking system was incomplete or inaccurate and asked for dismissal.

The suit had sought $5,000 in damages for each violation determined to be wanton and reckless and $1,000 for each violation considered negligent by the court.

On Monday, in federal court in Springfield, both parties’ attorneys signed off on a joint stipulation for dismissal of action without prejudice. In the stipulation, each party was to bear their own costs and attorneys’ fees, effectively closing the suit.