HANFORD — Marquez Brothers International, Inc. and its affiliates will pay $2 million and furnish other relief to settle a race discrimination suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced Wednesday. The EEOC had charged the company refused to hire non-Hispanic applicants for unskilled positions.
According to EEOC's lawsuit, Marquez Brothers and its affiliates preferred Hispanic job applicants over all other races (including black, white and Asian applicants) in unskilled production and warehouse positions. The suit further charged that the companies discouraged non-Hispanic applicants from applying for open positions, by, among other things, imposed a language requirement not required for the job.
Marquez Brothers Enterprises, Inc., Marquez Brothers Foods, Inc., Marquez Brothers Southern California, Inc., Marquez Brothers Nevada, Inc., and Marquez Brothers Texas I, Inc. are among the Marquez Brothers International affiliates listed in EEOC's discrimination lawsuit.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its suit against the company in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (EEOC v. Marquez Brothers International, Inc., et al., Case No: 1:17-cv-00044-AWI-EPG).
In addition to the monetary relief, Marquez Brothers has agreed to sweeping injunctive relief to prevent discrimination in the future, including hiring an external monitor; implementing hiring goals and measures to ensure hiring transparency and diversification; training; reporting; and other significant measures. In addition, the company has agreed to maintain a centralized tracking system for all complaints of discrimination. The court will maintain jurisdiction of the case during the decree's three-year term.
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Anyone who sought production or warehouse work with Marquez Brothers, felt discouraged from applying, or were not hired by Marquez Brothers from 2010 to the present should contact the EEOC toll-free at 855-725-4456. You may be entitled to monetary relief from this settlement. The Marquez Brothers locations covered by this settlement include facilities in the following states: California, Colorado, Arkansas, Illinois, Texas, Nevada, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Utah.
"We commend Marquez Brothers for its commitment to providing equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees," said Anna Park, regional attorney for EEOC's Los Angeles District Office, whose jurisdiction includes Kings County. "We encourage anyone who may have been affected to come forward and make a claim."
Melissa Barrios, director of the EEOC's Fresno Local Office, added, "One of the EEOC's six national priorities is eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, and this resolution should send a strong message to employers that the EEOC is dedicated to its mission."
According to its website, www.elmexicano.net, Marquez Brothers International, Inc. and its affiliates produce and distribute Mexican-style dairy products, meat items, and canned and dry goods.
Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, especially class-based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, women, and people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.