FRESNO, Calif. –  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that Marquez Brothers International Inc. and its affiliates will pay $2 million to settle a race discrimination lawsuit.

Marquez produces cheeses, desserts, creams and a variety of chorizo, deli turkey and cooked hams in San Jose, California, under the El Mexicano brand.

The agency said it charged the company with refusing to hire non-Hispanic workers for unskilled positions. The lawsuit said that Marquez Brothers preferred Hispanic job applicants over all other races including black, white and Asian workers. The suit also charged the company with discouraging people other than Hispanics from applying for jobs and imposed a language requirement.

Along with the settlement, Marquez Brothers agreed to change its hiring policy to prevent discrimination in the future. This includes hiring an external monitor implementing hiring goals and measures to ensure hiring transparency and diversification; training; reporting; and other significant measures. A centralized tracking system for all complains of discrimination will also be set up.

The US District Court for the Eastern District of California will oversee the company for a three-year term.

“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.”