HOUSTON (Legal Newsline) – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that Lawler Foods Inc. and Lawler Foods LTD will pay $1,042,000 to settle a class race and national origin discrimination lawsuit.

According to EEOC charges, Lawler Foods discriminated against three applicants and a class of African-American and non-Hispanic applicants in its failure to hire any for entry-level positions. Alleged conduct of this nature violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

"We are pleased that we have reached an agreement," EEOC General Counsel David Lopez said. "Moving forward, qualified applicants will be judged by their talents and skill and not passed over because of their race or national origin – and those who were wrongfully denied positions will be compensated."

In addition to monetary penalties, Lawler is enjoined from race or national origin discrimination. Lawler must seek to recruit and hire black and other non-Hispanic applicants and conduct employee training to ensure a non-discrimination workplace.

"Eliminating barriers in hiring is a high priority for EEOC,” EEOC Houston Director Rayford O. Irvin said. “We trust that this settlement will serve as an example to all employers that this agency takes race discrimination seriously and will vigorously protect people's rights to challenge discrimination. Employers must focus only on the qualifications of an individual when making hiring decisions."

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