Marquez Brothers food company to pay $2M settlement after rejecting non-Hispanic job seekers: reports

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.

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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.

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Anyone believing the company wrongfully discriminated against them should contact the EEOC by calling a toll-free number, 855-725-4456, the agency said.