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Press Release 01-12-2017

EEOC Sues Marquez Brothers For  Hispanic-Preference Hiring

Non-Hispanic Applicants Turned Away From Entry-Level Positions, Federal Agency Charges

FRESNO, Calif. - Marquez Brothers International, Inc. and its affiliates violated federal law when they failed to hire non-Hispanic applicants for entry-level positions because of their race, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed yesterday.

According to EEOC's lawsuit, the San Jose, Calif.-based company and its affiliates favored less-qualified Hispanic job applicants over all other races (including black, white and Asian applicants) in unskilled positions. EEOC further contends that Marquez Brothers discouraged non-Hispanic applicants from applying for open positions, asked applicants if they spoke Spanish even when speaking Spanish was not a job requirement, and otherwise deterred non-Hispanic applicants.

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 lawsuit filed today.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 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) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. EEOC's suit seeks back pay, benefits, and compensatory and punitive damages for a class of non-Hispanic applicants, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent further discrimination by the companies.

"EEOC's core mission is to ensure equal employment opportunity for all. Deterring applicants from applying because of their race flies in the face of federal law," said Anna Park, regional attorney for EEOC's Los Angeles District Office, whose jurisdiction includes Kings County.

Melissa Barrios, director of EEOC's Fresno Local Office, added, "Employers must be aware of their responsibility under the law to provide employment opportunities to everyone, regardless of race."

According to its website,, Marquez Brothers International, Inc. and its affiliates produce and distribute Mexican-style dairy products, meat items, canned and dry goods.

Individuals who know about Marquez Brothers' hiring practices or who believe that they were not hired by the company because of their race, can contact the EEOC at 1-855-725-4456 for more information.

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 (SEP).

EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.