A California-based food company has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a federal lawsuit after being accused of hiring only Hispanic employees – and rejecting job seekers who were white, black, Asian or members of other non-Hispanic groups.
Marquez Brothers of San Jose, which makes El Mexicano-brand cheeses, yogurts, meats and other foods, agreed to the deal after being sued by two African-American job applicants who were refused paperwork after seeking jobs at the company’s location in Hanford, Calif., the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Wednesday.
One experienced job seeker was rejected “despite having been better qualified than those ultimately hired,” the EEOC said in a statement.
According to the Fresno Bee, the settlement applies to Marquez Brothers plants in nine states – Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.
“This resolution should send a strong message to employers that the EEOC is dedicated to its mission,” Melissa Barrios, director of the EEOC’s office in Fresno, told The Business Journal.
Aside from the $2 million payment, the company has agreed to maintain a tracking system for all discrimination complaints filed against it, The Business Journal reported.
Anyone believing the company wrongfully discriminated against them should contact the EEOC by calling a toll-free number, 855-725-4456, the agency said.