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
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."